PICKENS – Cyberspace is ablaze with accusations that a Pickens police officier was fired because he ticketed Clemson’s head football coach Dabo Swinney.
Pickens City Manager Katherine Bracketts says, no. She maintains he was fired because he used a city computer and was on city time when he blogged about the ticket.
McClatchy says he believes the whole story is not being told.
“There is some untruth to the statement that was released by the police department,” said McClatchy. “My attorney and I plan to address the media soon (this week). It’s pretty big. (We have) some good information that has not been revealed.”
McClatchy says he hopes to unveil the full truth soon.
“I want the whole truth out there and what’s been hidden in political cover-ups that have taken place,” said McClatchy.
An employee warning report from the City of Pickens stated that on Sept. 14 Cpl. Michael Jordan McClatchy violated the city computer policy, code of ethics and general orders. It also stated he violated company policy and worked on personal matters while on duty for the city.
A traffic citation shows McClatchy stopped Swinney for driving 63 mph in a 35 mph zone on Sept. 3 along Gentry Memorial Highway near the Bi-Lo supermarket.
Gregory said he learned that McClatchy contributed to a South Carolina Gamecocks blog after doing a search on Google. Gregory said McClatchy blogged that he was the ticketing officer and that McClatchy contributed to the blog on city time while using a city computer.
After reviewing a recording of the traffic stop, Gregory stated that he is confident McClatchy made the right decision ticketing Swinney.
“I regret having to let him go, but the confidentiality of this department and the citizens cannot and will not be violated,” Gregory said last week.
Brackett said Monday that Police Chief Gregory became curious about Swinney’s ticketing due to the nature of the people involved. She said when Gregory did a Google search, he found out about McClatchy’s blog and his role in ticketing Swinney. She said a further investigation identified McLatchy’s whereabouts at the time of the blog posting using GPS tracking.
“McClatchy’s patrol car has GPS technology and was tracked to the Police Department at the time of the blog, and so, we checked the history of the two patrol computers and found that he had blogged on a city computer,” said Assistant Chief of Police, Travis Riggs. “The other infractions were significant, but the fact that McClatchy violated the confidentiality of this department could not be overlooked.”
Swinney wrote a letter of regret to the city and the police department for the traffic offense and has since paid a fine for the ticket, Gregory said.