The machinations to get Alan Clemmons into the position of Horry County Master-in-Equity have skated along the very edge of state law during the entire process.
It would take a full investigation and the determination of a public prosecutor to decide whether the process actually stepped into the area of illegality, but there are enough questions to warrant such an investigation.
Either way, a study of the timeline of events, as well as the events themselves, demonstrate the way in which those in “the swamp”, (Donald Trump’s term for the political system that he said needed ‘sweeping ethics reform’ in order to “make our government honest once again”), works to advance the ambitions of the members in this group.
Clemmons won the state primary for nomination to his 10th term in office as a state representative for SC House District 107 on June 9, 2020.
On June 20, 2020, the SC Judicial Merit Selection Commission issued a media release announcing it was accepting applications for judicial offices named in the release. Included in that release was the statement, “A vacancy will exist in the office currently held by the Honorable Cynthia Graham Howe, Master in Equity, Horry County. The successor will serve a new term of that office, which will expire December 31, 2027.”
Four days later the JMSC issued a “Media Release Amended” in which the only change was removal of the advertisement for applications for the Horry County Master in Equity position. The chairman of the JMSC for 2020 was Horry County Sen. Luke Rankin.
An inquiry to the JMSC about the elimination of the Horry County position elicited the following email response, “JMSC issued a media release on June 20, 2020 announcing screening for Horry County Master in Equity (Judge Howe’s seat) and the successor to serve a new term to expire December 31, 2027. Since the new term would not begin until January 1, 2022, a subsequent media release was issued, deleting the seat from the 2020 screening.”
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