Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews responded Thursday to reports that a Kershaw County Magistrate's Office employee is suing him for defamation of character. Delores Leonard alleges in the suit that Matthews damaged her reputation when he wrongly accused her of misusing victims advocate funds.
The laws of man and of God stood side by side in the sanctuary of Camden First Baptist Church Tuesday as 5th Judicial Circuit Judge G. Thomas Cooper Jr. (center) administered the oath of office to Jim Matthews, the first new sheriff in 16 years in Kershaw County. Matthews' wife, Heather, held the Bible upon which he pledged his service. Additional details on the ceremony and Matthews' vow to work with other law enforcement agencies will be featured in Friday's C-I.
Jim Matthews will have a busy day Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011. At noon, he will be sworn in by Circuit Court Judge G. Thomas Cooper at First Baptist Church of Camden as Kershaw County's new sheriff. During that ceremony, Matthews will sign memorandum of understanding -- mutual aid agreements -- with other sheriffs and police chiefs. That will be immediately followed by a luncheon at the Robert Mills Courthouse with many of those same law enforcement leaders.
Camden's Bill Byars -- former school board member, family court judge and currently director of the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) -- has been tapped to become the new head of the S.C. Department of Corrections.
Representative Laurie Slade Funderburk (D-Kershaw) has been elected to serve as chair of the South Carolina General Assembly Women's Caucus for a two-year term. Funderburk said she is eager to begin her work as head of this 17-member, bipartisan organization.
With 1,554 votes, incumbent Walter Long led balloting Tuesday to win re-election for a second term on Camden City Council. Willard Polk, coming in second with 1,397 votes, gained the seat held by departing Councilman Ned Towell who is stepping down following a failed bid for Kershaw County Probate Judge. Challenger Phyllis Hampton Dye came in third with 1,148 votes.