Sunday, March 21, 2021

False Police Report = Felony or Misdemeanor

Thanks to a posting on by Jamie Raub last week (since removed, but not before being copied), I was reminded of a complaint filed against me by Teresa Holmes in March 2019. 

Two years ago a Richland 2 School District trustee-elect reacted to an email I had sent to the full board, on Wednesday March 20, 2019 at 10:30AM. She is believed to have left work in Fairfield County shortly after I sent the email. She went straight to the Richland County Sheriff's Department to file a report that I had been harassing her.

In my email to the full board I had written that, if the District did not inform me by Friday, March 22 (2019), that Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie would be sworn in before the following Tuesday's board meeting, then I would go to the Sheriff's Department and file a Complaint that they were illegally in office.

No doubt you've heard "the best defense is a good offense". Right? But only if that offense works...

Teresa Holmes complained at RCSD to Deputy Robert Jenkins. In his report dated 3/20/2019 at 1:45PM, Deputy Jenkins wrote:

"C/V (School Board Member) came into RCSD to report that a man that has approached her at several Richland County School Board meetings is harassing her. C/V states she feels threatened by the subjects [sic] behavior. Besides the meetings where she has been approached by the subject, the C/V states he has sent her numerous emails attacking her. The emails provided by the C/V have the subject's PH# listed as 847.971.7083. A case number was issued to the C/V."

Here is the law about filing false police reports. See South Carolina Code of Laws 16-17-722.

SECTION 16-17-722. Filing of false police reports; knowledge; offense; penalties.

(A) It is unlawful for a person to knowingly file a false police report.

(B) A person who violates subsection (A) by falsely reporting a felony is guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be imprisoned for not more than five years or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(C) A person who violates subsection (A) by falsely reporting a misdemeanor is guilty of a misdemeanor and must be imprisoned not more than thirty days or fined not more than five hundred dollars, or both.

(D) In imposing a sentence under this section, the judge may require the offender to pay restitution to the investigating agency to offset costs incurred in investigating the false police report.

What was false in Holmes' report?

The man she is accusing is I, Gus Philpott. I had not approached her "at several meetings". We spoke at the front of the room after one (only one) meeting, and a Richland County Sheriff's deputy was standing right alongside us the entire time.

I never harassed her. Not even once. Don't you think the sheriff's deputy would have interceded, had I harassed her?

Holmes felt threatened by a polite, short conversation in a public meeting room with a deputy standing right next to her? Seriously?

Holmes claimed "meetings". She and I spoke after only one meeting!

Holmes claimed I had sent numerous emails attacking her. I sent NO EMAILS to her alone. All email communications were sent to the full board. 

I never "attacked" her. 

I did write about Holmes' (and Amelia McKie) taking the oath of office illegally, entering upon official responsibilities illegally, and never taking the oath of office after they had become eligible to do so on December 4, 2018 by filing their Statements of Economic Interests Reports. They still haven't!

When I asked RCSD for copies of the emails "provided by the C/V", they didn't have them.

So, did Holmes file a false police report? Should RCSD have charged her with so doing, after it completed its investigation and determined that no crime had been committed?

I have a copy of that follow-up report, which had to be written by an RCSD Sergeant after I asked for it. The follow-up closing report states no crime was committed.

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