Berkeley Sheriff’s candidate Fuda files complaint over Adams’ paperwork

Brian Adams ¬

A candidate for Berkeley County Sheriff has filed a complaint against another over election paperwork, and it will be up to the county’s Republican Party executive committee to decide how to proceed.

Bonneau Police Chief Frank Fuda told the county Republican Party that Brian Adams, a lieutenant in the North Charleston Police Department, did not fill out information about his high school graduation on a candidate form.

The Berkeley County Republican Party executive committee, which includes about 50 members, will take up the topic at its regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Berkeley Electric Cooperative, 2 Springhall Road, Goose Creek. Fuda, Adams and Marty Housand, also a candidate, are all on the committee.

The Republican primary is Tuesday. It’s too late to remove Adams’ name from the ballot of 14 candidates, said county Republican Party Chairman Tim Callanan.

“(This issue) may end (Monday) night,” Callanan said. “If Brian Adams were not to make it to the run-off, then it would end. But if he were to make it to the run-off (on May 5), then I imagine there will be a few more rounds of this in court.”

Sheriff’s candidates are required to meet certain requirements, such as having a high school diploma, and to sign an affidavit with personal data that includes the date of high school graduation, he said.

In 2012, more than 200 candidates were removed from ballots statewide for failing to file economic interest statements with the state Ethics Commission correctly and on time.

“Since then, they tried to fix the law and say that errors and omissions would have to favor keeping the candidate on the ballot,” Callanan said. “Then again, within that same ordinance it says unless it’s a statutorial qualification, which this is. That’s where it gets tricky.”

For his part, Adams said it was a simple oversight. He has posted a photo of his 1989 diploma from Stratford High School on his Facebook page.

“I just forgot to put the date I graduated,” he said. “I’ve talked to a couple of attorneys and I’m not concerned about it.”

Callanan said he has checked the other candidates’ paperwork and found no errors.

“It defies common sense to consider removing a candidate on a such a ridiculous technicality, but in the same respect, the Supreme Court has that history from three years ago where they removed hundreds of candidates based on a technicality,” he said. “You would hope common sense would prevail but it certainly didn’t three years ago.”

Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or @brindge on Twitter.