NORWAY -- The new mayor of Norway climbed into City Hall through a back window on New Year's Day because he hadn't been given the key yet, then promptly had the locks changed and removed the old mayor's name from the town's bank accounts.

The old mayor called Orangeburg County sheriff's deputies, asking that James "Jim" Preacher be charged with burglary, and the sheriff's office told The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg it is investigating.

Preacher was elected mayor in Norway in November, beating the incumbent Cindy Williams. She had planned to turn the office over to Preacher on Jan. 9, the first scheduled Town Council meeting of the year.

But Preacher said town rules allow a new mayor to take over Jan. 1. Preacher said he decided to take drastic action by climbing into Town Hall because he didn't have a key and people had told him items were being moved out without permission last week. Nobody knew where it was going," Preacher told the newspaper.

Williams said the items simply were being moved to Norway's new Town Hall in a move planned for months.