Summer is the worst of the four seasons — it’s waaaay too hot, the Statehouse is out of session, and the upcoming gubernatorial campaigns are sitting in the doldrums until Labor Day.
All this means there’s precious little to write about.
That is, of course, until someone does something incredibly stupid and then this column writes itself.
Such was the case last week when S.C. Rep. Wallace Scarborough (R-James Island) was arrested after his 9mm pistol fired shortly after an angry confrontation with two South Carolina Electric and Gas linemen who were checking the utility’s equipment for storm damage in the backyard of Scarborough’s parents’ home in The Crescent neighborhood.
Uh, Wallace … what’s up with that?
Scarborough enlisted the aid of The Eye’s favorite cretin, former S.C. Rep John Graham Altman III, to get him out of the hoosegow. Altman went on to spin the story in his own inimitable fashion.
At the next morning’s bond court hearing, Altman declared, “That’s garbage — he’s charged with assault with intent to kill under the common law … the affidavits themselves point out there’s no crime being committed.”
Scarborough was released under his own recognizance and later Altman went to the local media, “You’d be a fool to not take a gun outside when someone’s roaming around your backyard at night.”
Uh, The Eye rather thinks that one would be a fool to not call the cops first when somebody’s lurking in a dark backyard.
He went on with his rant, “Do they really believe that their workers have the right to come on your property at 9:30 at night, roam around and then tell you when you confront them that you can’t throw us off, can’t question us, we’re SCE&G officials?”
Uh, yeah, they can.
Perhaps Scarborough should read the fine print of his parents’ service agreement with the utility.
Or, we’ll quote our own SCE&G contract: “those terms include the rights for authorized representatives of the company to have safe access to a customer’s premises at any and all reasonable times to inspect, operate, and maintain the company’s and customer’s facilities for any purpose connected with the delivery of service.”
SCE&G released a statement that detailed the circumstances and the incident, “They were wearing SCE&G uniforms and hard hats. They identified themselves to Mr. Scarborough as SCE&G employees and explained why they were in the area. Nevertheless, Mr. Scarborough threatened our lineman with a weapon, which was discharged as our linemen were attempting to move out … It’s unfortunate that this incident occurred.”
SCE&G has since refused to comment further, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.
Over the weekend, 9th Circuit Solictor Ralph Hoisington stated that his office was dropping all charges against Scarborough saying that the events didn’t fit the statute.
The Eye wonders if this would be the case if Scarborough was a nonswimming Democrat.
Scarborough’s opposition in the upcoming election, Eugene Platt, has declined to comment on his opponent’s foolish behavior and week-long legal drama.
He doesn’t need to, mused The Eye.
All Platt has to do is wait it out — Scarborough and that dunderhead Altman just need to keep on talking and Platt will cruise right on into the Statehouse.
Platt can do this or have someone tail ol’ Wallace to find out if “house-sitting” isn’t a euphemism for, “I’m living with my parents outside my legislative district.”