(special assistance provided by Daniel Prince, WBCU, Union)
At a news conference Wednesday in Union County Governor Mark Sanford announced that he has appointed a new Clerk of Court following the indictment of former officials.
Freddie Gault was assigned to the position. He previously worked as captain for the Union Public Safety Department, and replaces Brad Morris. Morris resigned October 9th at a time when SLED officials announced they were investigating his office books. The week before, Union County Supervisor Donnie Betenbaugh, former county tax assessor Willie Randall Jr. and former Sheriff Howard Wells were indicted on various federal charges.
Betenbaughand Randall were named in a 40-count indictment, charged with extortion, soliciting and accepting bribes, money laundering, structuring financial transactions to evade federal reporting requirements, and knowingly allowing the Tax Assessor’s Office to be used as a “stash house” for distribution of cocaine and pain killers.
Union’s former mayor and zoning administrator are both serving federal prison sentences.
Sanford said his administration’s appointment is about restoring trust. “It’s our belief that new brooms sweep clear,” said Sanford. “We do that consistently in this administration because we believe that someone will step in and ask ‘Why?”
“How many times in our lives do we forget to ask the ‘why’ question because we get used to the way things are done,” said the governor. “We wanted someone to ask ‘Why, why, why, and why?,’ and we felt that would be important in restoring trust in your local government.”