Reader Question: What the Hell is Going on in Simpsonville?
Now that Simpsonville has fired the police chief they just hired, a decision that happened after the cops made several overt shows of support for the new chief, people are asking what’s going on over there.
I personally don’t know and I don’t spend much time in Simposnville. Over the years I’ve heard there were some minor problems with the cops though many complaints I’ve heard were fairly petty. It is odd that the department can’t even keep their website up though. What I know about the crime scene in Simpsonville is that there is a lot of meth cooking (same here in Mauldin) and there’s plenty of petty theft which is probably related to the meth cooking. Otherwise though it’s a really nice, laid back town.
The local pols are not exactly trustworthy I hear. The city councilman who started the wheels working to fire the new chief was Matthew Gooch, the jackbooted fascist who helped orchestrate the smoking ban in bars (because cigarettes are worse for you than Jack Daniels I suppose) and was quoted in reports saying “”This is not a smoking ban in Simpsonville,” said Councilman Matthew Gooch. “You still have a right to smoke, but we’re just regulating where you can smoke.”
As they say I’m sure that sounded better in the original German. It should be noted that even though he made that asinine statement he voted against the ban – knowing that the measure would pass so he got to have his cake and eat it too on this one.
Since the city counsel isn’t even bothering to make up a reason for the firing we can all assume it’s personal animosity and connection. The ex- new chief, Keith Grounsell, made a big splash talking about improving police performance and rooting out corruption. Maybe some of the council, who have business interests in fields notorious for corruption, graft and mob connections, are scared of what Grounsell would have found out.
Maybe a certain councilman who, I don’t know, builds houses is using his position and connections with certain people in various local positions to enrich himself in a way that is borderline in terms of legality. Maybe this same person uses law enforcement to run some businesses out of town so that his developer partners can cheaply move in by helping pass laws that cut those businesses revenues. But what do I know it’s not like crime bloggers have contacts, right?
Maybe it’s something small, like Grounsell not wanting to waste resources sending cops out to night clubs to make sure there’s no smoking when people are COOKING METH in the town. Or maybe some career do-nothing was upset that she was passed over for the job so she used his personal connections with the council to get this guy fired out of spite. And maybe those connections are very, very personal. Like I said, I don’t know.
The firing happened in a closed door meeting so don’t expect to see those minutes appear anytime soon. I also assume Grounsell has a non-disclosure agreement so he’s probably going to be muzzled. I’ll do a little more digging and see if I can find more. But the letter a bunch of the police sent recently describing their unhappiness with the assistant Chief, Collen O’Neil, can be read here. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out what’s going on here.