Tag: sexual harassment

More on Crawford Dismissal from CCU

One week ago, local media posted stories on events surrounding the dismissal, in November 2019, of Horry County Council member Cam Crawford from his position at Coastal Carolina University.
According to the stories and documents released by CCU, an investigation into Title IX complaints by a female student who also worked under the supervision of Crawford was conducted by the university. Findings from that investigation supported ‘continuous physical contact with student employee supervisees, which included hugging and touching of hand and/or arm,’ and evidence supporting ‘kissing of a student employee’s head’.
Crawford responded to questions from the media claiming the woman misinterpreted his “Southern mannerisms”, that he did not believe he did anything wrong and that there were political motivations behind the media being informed of his dismissal from CCU.
Nevertheless, a female student registered a complaint with the university, the university conducted an investigation and Crawford is no longer employed by CCU.
Crawford’s response brings to mind statements by former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo when Cuomo resigned as governor after 11 women came forward claiming Cuomo had sexually harassed them.
Cuomo was quoted in media as stating, “As an Italian, I have always kissed and hugged in a casual way, I’ve never crossed the line with anyone… I accept full responsibility, I slipped, but there are political motivations behind the accusations, and I am sure New Yorkers will understand,”
Strikingly similar statements from two politicians on opposite ends of the political spectrum, except Cuomo took responsibility while Crawford did not.
But the similarities between the two cases end there. Once women began stepping forward with accusations against Cuomo, stories continued in the New York media, Cuomo’s former political allies distanced themselves from him and ultimately Cuomo resigned as governor.
In Horry County, Crawford’s leaving CCU employ remained a secret for two years and there has been virtually no comment from other local politicians.
Freedom of Information requests to CCU from two local newspapers were handled completely differently. According to a story in the Sun News, the newspaper filed a FOIA request with the university in October 2021, requesting documents related to “any disciplinary action taken by Coastal…including notices of termination or suspension, reprimands , etc.” as well as “any complaints or other documents submitted to Coastal by students, staff, professors, administration or the public regarding Mr. Crawford, his employment, his job performance and his conduct/behavior.”

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The Horry County Police Department Morass

With the indictment of four former Horry County Police Department officers last week by the state grand jury, the morass of problems within that agency became a little more public.

The four officers were indicted for various forms of misconduct in office, which included sexual harassment in two cases and plain dereliction of duty in two others.

According to public records, these officers were previously disciplined for some of these actions but allowed to remain in the employ of the department. Those same actions have now been deemed criminal in nature.

In other words, HCPD officers were allowed to break the law and keep their jobs until the state grand jury became involved.

This is not just a problem with four officers. It is a systemic problem that is pervasive throughout the department, in my opinion. Officers are allowed to do, or not do, what they wish while the system protects them.

I have covered incidents going back nearly two decades where officers exhibited the same or similar types of conduct including false arrest, lying under oath and coverup of actions with no negative ramifications for the officers involved.

Particularly in Horry County, these types of actions are kept out of sight of the general public whenever possible. When they do come to light, the officers involved are referred to as a “few bad apples.”

Yet, it seems every year or two we are told our police officers are underpaid and taxes must be raised to provide them with more income.

How about requiring them to do their jobs?

A new police chief took over the reins of the department this week. He has a massive job in front of him cleaning out the systemic problems that plague the department.