A former Pickens, S.C., police officer is speaking out and claims that he was unjustly fired.
On Sept. 3, CPl Michael McClatchy stopped a vehicle which was traveling 63 mph in a 35 mph zone. The driver of the car was Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney. Swinney explained to McClatchy that he was late for his weekly “Tiger Calls” radio show at the BI-LO supermarket in Pickens however, Swinney was still issued a citation for speeding.
See PHOTO: Dabo Swinney signs autographs while he waits for the Pickens Police Officer…Barney Fife…to issue his citation.
On September 17th…CPl. Michael McClatchy’s employment with the department was terminated.
A spokesperson for the Pickens Police Department told sources McClatchy’s employment with the department was terminated after he posted on September 14th, details about the traffic stop involving Coach Swinney on the University of South Carolina message board while on duty using the departments computers. He also made personal comments about the citation which he did not have permission to do and he reportedly spent an hour and a half during his police shift at the police station “editing” his blog post.”
McClarty who believes he was fired for issuing the “Tigers” head coach and held a “tell all & lets clear the air ” press conference which took place at the office of his attorney Chuck Allen. McClatchy said he was wrongfully terminated from his job after the traffic stop and posting comments about the traffic cam video on a website.
“I was wrongfully terminated for doing my job,” McClatchy told reporters, according to a transcript of the news conference. “The law should be enforced in a fair manner and apply equally to everyone. I took a solemn oath to do just that and that is what I did.”
Following McClatchy press conference…The Police Department issued a statement in which they acknowledged that McClatchy acted in a professional manner during the traffic stop and reiterated that he was not terminated for conduct related to the issuance of the citation. His conduct during the traffic stop was professional and he followed all appropriate procedures.” They added…it was his actions following the September 03, incident that resulted in his termination of employment
The spokesperson also said “We do not divulge that, especially in an ongoing case,” adding that the case is considered open until Swinney’s court date, which is still set for Oct. 4 even though he already has paid the fine.
According to sources…MaClatchy had been reprimanded and received two previous verbal warning by the Department McClatchy on Jan. 7 and May 4. The first warning was in reference to some comments he allegedly made to another officer’s girlfriend, which showed a lack of professionalism the department would not tolerate.
Dabo Swinney Signs Autographs