S. Congaree Chief Still on Job for now

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By Crandall Sims

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) -- "It's executive session, I can't really talk about that," says Josh Shumpert, South Congaree Police Chief, when asked about what happened behind closed doors during Tuesday night's council meeting.

A day after the South Congaree town council tried to fire Shumpert, h says he still doesn't know why.

"I don't know. I don't know anything,"said Shumpert

Residents turned out Tuesday night to stop another attempt to fire Shumpert.

"He's shown them, first of all, what it means to be a Godly man in a position of authority," said Zack Henderson, when speaking of Shumpert

"The council and cohorts have tried to shame, humiliate and down right destroy him and his little family. I am ashamed of you," said Carolyn Henderson, resident.

Shortly before residents took to the mic, council voted unanimously to put Shumpert on a 180 day corrective action plan.

Shumpert's lawyer, Jake Moore, called the move a compromise.

While that means Shumpert won't be fired, it didn't stop residents from giving council quite the ear full.

"This council and a few of the council members who have served before you have been an extreme disappointment," said Carolyn Henderson

"We want you to resign tonight if y'all can't get along and fix this problem, "said Danny Jones, resident.

"And even after all of your petty spite, Josh Shumpert would be the first one to call and respond if you were in trouble," said Henderson

"If you won't fix this problem and you won't resign tonight... we're going to fire you," said Jones

It didn't take long for at least one council member to fire back.

"I challenge everyone in this room to be here at every council meeting, not just when there is a problem," said Jerry Smith, South Congaree council member.

"Did you see anybody ride up in a Mercedes or whatever? We're a blue collar working community. That's what we do. We're the people who paint your house or fix your car or cut your grass or put the shingles on it. We're not doctors and lawyers," said Jones.

"You wanted to be a councilman, you're called to that duty. You try to make the world a better place over here. We can't come here unless we stop the things we're doing and come down here and hold your hand," said Jones

The meeting ended with Mayor Brian Jackson thanking Shumpert for his service. We caught up with Shumpert after the meeting.

"I look forward to serving the citizens and that's what I've always done and try to do. I'm the police chief of the town and I want to do what's best," said Shumpert.

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