Letter to the Editor: Clear Case of Contempt

It is hard to believe that the Town of Ridgeway officials do not have a clear understanding of the powers given by the constitution to judges, police chiefs and council members.  If what I read is factual in “The Voice of Fairfield County” the article concerning the removal of the police chief, etc. and the letter from the municipal judge to the mayor, it gives me the impression that neither of these offices understand their role and powers given to their offices.  The judge has a tool in order to maintain decorum in his court, and it is called contempt, granted it should be used as a last resource.  Sentences and decisions in the cases seen in his court are his to be made.  Those cases seen at the municipal level can be appealed to the higher level.  If the judge is not doing what his position calls for he can be reported to the judicial commission.  The city council, I believe, can appoint but cannot reprimand or release the judge.  As to the chief contradicting the judge’s decisions and disregarding his authority, that is a clear case of contempt.

Hector H Pineda

Judge (R)

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]