Coroner Turner Challenges Opponent Adams’ Eligibility

PAPERS FILED - Saluda County  Coroner Keith Turner, left, and his attorney Alex Thomas Postic filed legal documents at the Saluda County Clerk of Court’s office challenging the eligibiilty of Tuner’s Republican challenger Charles “Chuck” Adams. (Standard-Sentinel photo)

Coroner Turner Challenges
Opponent Adams’ Eligibility

  Saluda County Coroner Keith Turner had filed legal papers challenging in court the eligibility of his Republican opponent Charles “Chuck” Adamns.
  Turner’s attorney, Alex Thomas Postic, filed with papers with the Saluda County Clerk of Court’s office Thurs., June 9.
  Named in the action, which will be tried in the Court of Common Pleas, are the Saluda County Election Commission, Saluda County Republican Party, Adams and the South Carolina Election Commission.
  The elections offices and the local GOP are named because they certified Adams’ candidacy, even though he does not meet eligibility criteria, the suit alleges.
  “Candidates for sheriff and coroner are the only candidates that have to meet certain requirement to run for office,” Turner said.
  Among the education and experience requirements to run for coroner are the following:
  (a) have at least three years of experience in death investigation with a law enforcement agency, coroner, or medical examiner agency; 
  (b) have a two-year associate degree and two years of experience in death investigation with a law enforcement agency, coroner, or medical examiner agency; 
  (c)  have a four-year baccalaureate degree and one year of experience in death investigation with a law enforcement agency, coroner, or medical examiner agency; 
  (d) be a law enforcement officer, as defined by Section 23-23-10(E)(1), who is certified by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council with a minimum of two years of experience; 
  (e) have completed a recognized forensic science degree or certification program or be enrolled in a recognized forensic science degree or certification program to be completed within one year of being elected to the office of coroner; 
  (f) be a medical doctor; or 
  (g) have a bachelor of science degree in nursing.
  Turner meets the criteria by having served as county coroner for over 23 years.
  Adams did not check any of the education and experience requirements on his application, but did list he was enrolled in the St. Louis School of Medicine Medical/Death Investigations course.
  Postic said the only recognized  science forensic degree and certification program is the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigations, Inc. as approved by the Coroner’s Training Advisory Committee, and the only way a person can apply to the ADMDI program is ot have 640 hours of death investigation experience or either e working in a cororner or medical examiners office,
  In a letter to Adams, Postic asked him to withdraw his candidacy by May 31. When that didn’t happen, the papers were filed.
  The suit seeks to have Adams disqualified from running for coroner and having his named removed from the November ballot.
  “I have no problem with having opposition,” Turner said. “I just want them to be qualified to run.”
  This is the fourth case challenging the qulifications of a coroner candidates in S.C. this year. The most recent  was filed in Laurens County.

Council Passes
School Budget

  Saluda County Council gave third and final reading to the Saluda District One Budget Mon., June 13.
The local support portion of the school district’s $16,672,666 budget is $6,128,1247, minus revenues and credits reflected on tax receipts from Property Tax Relief, Homestead Exemption, Tier 3 Property Tax Relief, and Motor Carrier for a net amount of $3,867,200 from ad valorem taxes.
  Third reading passed unanimously. No one spoke at the public hearing.
  The final reading of the county budget will be held later this month.
  Council approved second readings of two ordinances that will transfer money from fund balance to the general balance. The first will transfer not more than $300,000 to balance the 2015-16 budget. The second will transfer $674,828 to balance the 2016-17 budget.
  Council Jacob Schumpert said $674,000 covers the difference in the budget between revenues and expenditures. He put the blame squarely on the state for not fully funding aid to counties once again. Since the legislature started cutting back on the funding, Saluda County has lost over $1,000,000.
“We’d  be ahead of the game now,” Schumpert said.
  Council gave first reading to an ordinance adopting the Saluda County Comprehensive Plan, developed by the Planning Commission, and to an ordinance which will transfer the authority of conducting Town of Ridge Spring election from the Town to the Saluda County Registration and Election Commission. Ridge Spring will reimburse the county for expenses incurred. The county has the same arrangement with the Town of Saluda.
James Cole explained the Saluda County Blood Pathogen Program, and it was later adopted. 
Council approved a memorandum of understanding with the Upper Savannah Workforce Area South Carolina Works System.
  Permission was given for staff to issue a request for proposal for a new payroll system for the county.
  Appointments and re-appointments to the Fire Board were as follows:
  Tony Lake for Hollywood, with Robbie Hatcher serving as alternate;
  Brent Addy for Mayson, with Dudley Rushton serving as alternate; and
  Chuck Adams for Midlands, with Chad Rodgers serving as alternate.
  Councilwoman Gwen Shealy’s appointment of Amber Meredith Davis was approved.
    At the beginning of the meeting, Mrs. Shealy reported on speaking at Palmetto Girls State at Presbyterian College in Clinton, and explained the flag at the courthouse was flying at half staff in memory of the victims in Sunday’s mass murder in Orlando.
  Council Chairman Don Hancock praised American Legion Post 65 for the Memorial Day program it produced at the Saluda Theater. He said the veterans’ organization often to did not get enough credit for what it does in the community.