State ethics panel clears police chief who used town mower

2013-10-03T00:45:00Z State ethics panel clears police chief who used town mowerBy SHERRYL M. PETERS T&D Correspondent The Times and Democrat
October 03, 2013 12:45 am  • 

SPRINGFIELD — The S.C. Ethics Commission ruled in July that Springfield Police Chief Terry Logan did not violate state ethics laws by using a town-owned lawn mower to cut grass on his personal property, The Times and Democrat has learned.

John Baxley, a Springfield resident, filed an ethics complaint against Logan in August 2012.

“I feel that our town needs both transparency and competency in government,” Baxley said in an interview. “I am interested in protecting the taxpayers’ money. Town equipment should be for town benefit.”

Baxley added, “Before I wrote a formal complaint to the S.C. Ethics Commission, I tried to address the situation with the town administration. It’s been over a year since I issued this complaint, and it was resolved about two months ago. I feel the citizenry has the right to know.”

The state Ethics Commission found that Logan was given permission by Springfield officials several years ago to use the equipment on his property, a fact verified by Mayor Marilyn McCormick last week.

Despite the fact that state Ethics officials found no wrongdoing on his part, Logan said he reimbursed the Town of Springfield $97.50 for operation costs of the lawn mower and paid the S.C. Ethics Commission a $500 administrative fee to cover the expense of its investigation into Baxley’s complaint.

In his complaint, Baxley cited seven incidences when Logan allegedly used town equipment to maintain his property, supporting those claims with photographs of the police chief using the town’s equipment and a time-line showing when Logan used it. Baxley accused Logan of using a town-owned or leased lawn mower for six hours and 26 minutes on his own property.

In response, Logan said that as part of his incentive package when he was hired as police chief about four years ago, he was told it was standard policy that employees were allowed to use town equipment on their personal property.

The S.C. Ethics Commission did note that Logan inadvertently violated section 8-13-700(A) of the Ethics Reform Act. As a result, Logan received a written warning but no fines or other actions were levied against the police chief.

To read the complete findings, access the S.C. Ethics Commission website, ethics.sc.gov, then select complaints and enter Case #2013-060.

According to Logan, the investigation is now “a non-issue.”

“I did nothing wrong,” he said. “Using the equipment was part of my incentive package, and the package was approved by the Springfield Town Council.”

He said he believes Baxley has a personal vendetta against the current Springfield administration and the police department.

“He invaded my privacy by photographing me while I was off-duty cutting my grass and then made this frivolous report to the Ethics Commission. The incident was settled two months ago, and I feel that it is being brought up now as a political ploy because we are close to an election,” Logan said.

“I have no knowledge of Baxley attempting to handle this situation prior to a formal complaint being filed by him against me with the S.C. Ethics Commission ... I was given permission to use the equipment, and I am not the only town employee to have done so.”

* Contact the writer: boykinbaby@surrealestate.com.

Copyright 2016 The Times and Democrat. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(13) Comments

  1. nana0842
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    nana0842 - October 04, 2013 6:30 pm
    There is nothing wrong with my memory. Yes, I took the swing.
    #1 How has the topic gone from Logan to me??
    #2 I do not know who owed the swing…..the renter or the landlord. The renter said it was his swing.
    #3 The swing was rotten. My husband took it down and took it to the dump.
    #4 The T&D stated Logan was cleared of his violation by making restitution. I was cleared of my violation by making restitution…i.e.…replacing the swing.
    #5 What does this have to do with the town finances?
  2. SFDRES
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    SFDRES - October 04, 2013 4:29 pm
    NANA, your memory gets worse all the time. You didn't get convicted of Larceny because you plead and part of your little agreement with the owners of the house was that you had to replace the swing that you took from there house. You stated in an article that was printed in the TandD that you DID take the swing from the residence. If you will take a swing, you have got to crazy to think people will trust you with a town budget. You would surely have a good time then. DONT THINK SO !!!!
  3. nana0842
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    nana0842 - October 03, 2013 10:16 pm
    Not boring...just a small town
  4. nana0842
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    nana0842 - October 03, 2013 10:15 pm
    ROFL
  5. nana0842
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    nana0842 - October 03, 2013 7:25 pm
    Sorry about the typos...I cannot type very welll.... where is spell check on this thing....LOL
  6. truthorjustice
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    truthorjustice - October 03, 2013 4:30 pm
    At least, Logan does not have to have a driver's license to mow.
    And, the residents are lucky he did not run into them with the mower.
    And, we can hope he returned the mower in better condition than the Patrol Car he was driving on Hwy 4 a year or so ago.
    And, someone needs to give JB job.
  7. MrDude
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    MrDude - October 03, 2013 1:32 pm
    I'm just appalled someone actually kept track of the exact time of using the mower, must be pretty boring in that town.
  8. nana0842
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    nana0842 - October 03, 2013 11:54 am
    Also I did not state nor imply that Chief Logan was not doing a good job. Use of the equipment has no bearing on his job performance.
  9. nana0842
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    nana0842 - October 03, 2013 11:50 am
    I was not convicted, I was helping an elderly person clean his house and move. It is known it was a political ploy
  10. thinbluelines
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    thinbluelines - October 03, 2013 9:48 am
    The Chief in Springfield has done a good job from what I have seen of him; he has always helped when needed; always been helpful when I come to Town and come on now! John dont like nobody; not even himself. I think the only reason Nana does not care for him is because she was locked up for stealing last year. How is she able to be on the election ballot?
  11. nana0842
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    nana0842 - October 03, 2013 9:19 am
    He was not cleared of the violation. What is not in the violation is that on one occassion when Logan was returning the mower to the town, he ran over a manhole and cut it. The mower shut down immediately. I am sure the repair to the moser cost quite a bit. This was seen and heard by several residents. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. I could have permission from the police chief to speed in the town, this does not make it right.
  12. nana0842
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    nana0842 - October 03, 2013 9:12 am
    This is so "slanated". You acan read the report at...http://ethics.sc.gov/Complaints/Documents/CO%20Logan.pdf
    In part it states..."The State Ethis Commission hereby finds Terry Logan in violation of Section 8-13-700 (A)....etc...." I see no connection between this incident and the upcoming election. This happened over a year ago and has just now been resolved by the Ethics Commission.

    Also I do not know of any Councilmember, poice or employee of the town, using town equipment.
  13. SCGuardian
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    SCGuardian - October 03, 2013 8:21 am
    Still it is conduct that surpasses the rights of normal Springfield residents who pay taxes and have to purchase those products for their personal use.... The Ethics Panel has no ethics so how can they judge others?????
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