Town Council Meets Amid Rumors to Discuss Police Chief

South Congaree, SC (WLTX) -- Rumors were flying in South Congaree that the police chief there was about to be fired, leading to almost 100 people showing up Monday morning at the town hall looking for answers.

Jake Moore is the attorney representing town of South Congaree Police Chief Josh Shumpert.

Moore said his client's job status is being called into question, which stems from a town council workshop last week.

"We understand that his position may have been discussed, in some fashion, at what was designated as a work session," Moore said.

Supporters even posted a large wooden sign of outside town hall that read "Keep Josh. Fire the Council." that was signed "The Citizens."

During the closed door executive session Monday, Moore told the crowd sitting inside the town council chambers that council members had voted to fire the Chief, taking away his gun and his badge. However, Moore said they gave the Chief's job back when he told them votes cannot be taken in closed door meetings.

"Under the law, they cannot take action in executive session, and there are no action items on the agenda," Moore said.

But if residents were looking for a reason for the 'almost' firing, council members would only say it was a personnel issue.

Sources tell News19 the move comes as retaliation from something we first reported in February, when the town's Municipal Clerk told Chief Shumpert about a missing SIM-card used to record council meetings.

Shumpert then reported the missing card to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

"Josh (Shumpert) has not done anything to deserve this," said Danny Jones, a resident of the town."Town leaders don't get it; we want to work on things to improve our town, not bring it down."

Town Mayor Brian Jackson said he is against terminating the Chief, saying the showing of support speaks for itself.

"Our job is to represent the people, that's what our job is, and maybe we should take that into consideration," Jackson said.

In a phone interview, Councilwoman Lila Gantt said that her vote to terminate the Chief is in no way retaliation for any previous events.

Council members will meet again for a regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.


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