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From: Summer Dashe

Sent: Wednesday, March 6, 2019 6:44 PM


To: 'Gardner, Johnny' <Gardner.Johnny@horrycounty.org>
Subject: RE: The public's right to know

Chairman,

Thank you for your response and for your commitment to transparency. I respect that very much.

What is driving council to stick to its belief that the results cannot be released by law when both the
attorney general and the FOIA attorney have come out and said they should be released?

I, too, hope the law is clarified so this isn’t an issue for elected or public officials and journalists in the
future.

Thank you for contacting me. I do appreciate your time.

Summer

From: Gardner, Johnny [mailto:Gardner.Johnny@horrycounty.org]


Sent: Wednesday, March 6, 2019 11:40 AM
To: Summer Dashe <sdashe@sbgtv.com>
Subject: Re: The public's right to know

Summer,
I’m following up on your request for information on the Krystal Dodson report. As you know I
campaigned on transparency and I personally agree with you that the information should be released.
However the county attorney briefed council that the information can’t be released and to do so would
open the county up to a potential lawsuit.
I also agree with the AG that our legislature should look at this law to see if it could be clarified to
promote transparency.
Best,
Johnny Gardner

Sent from my iPhone

On Feb 27, 2019, at 4:07 PM, Summer Dashe <sdashe@sbgtv.com> wrote:

Chairman,

Thank you for your response and for taking this issue seriously.

We are hopeful council will take action. Please keep me in the loop on your next steps.

I look forward to hearing from you and working with you in the future.

SUMMER DASHE
EVENING ANCHOR
WPDE ABC15 | WWMB CW21
CELL: 843.742.9817
<image001.png>

From: Gardner, Johnny [mailto:Gardner.Johnny@horrycounty.org]


Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2019 1:20 PM
To: Summer Dashe <sdashe@sbgtv.com>
Cc: Hartley, Pat <HartleyP@HorryCounty.org>
Subject: Re: The public's right to know

Summer,
I have not been briefed on this issue since it occurred prior to my taking office. However, I will look into
it and get back with you.
Johnny Gardner

Sent from my iPad

On Feb 26, 2019, at 6:40 PM, Summer Dashe <sdashe@sbgtv.com> wrote:

Council members,

I hope you had a chance to see the story that aired last night regarding FOIA law and the release of the
toxicology results for former county employee Krystal Dotson.

If you haven’t seen it, I am including a link to it. You can read about it and watch the video, as it aired, at
the link below.

https://wpde.com/news/abc15-investigates/i-think-its-illegal-hc-leaders-refuse-to-release-info-you-
have-a-right-to-know

In summary, the state’s leading FOIA attorney says, “That is a matter of public record and there is no
exclusion that has been cited by the police that would justify that.” Attorney General Alan Wilson says
he would like the results released. Wilson also hopes a lawmaker will take this up and introduce a bill
that would essentially clarify FOIA law in this state, so these toxicology results must be released.

Following up with my last email, and in light of our recent story, I am coming to you again to ask you, as
the elected officials leading this county, to support transparency, freedom of information, and the
public’s right to know. I hope you will compel the county police department or your director of public
information to release the results.

Thank you.

SUMMER DASHE
EVENING ANCHOR
WPDE ABC15 | WWMB CW21
CELL: 843.742.9817
<image001.png>

From: Summer Dashe


Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2019 8:50 PM
To: gardner.johnny@horrycounty.org
Cc: countycouncil@horrycounty.org; howardb@horrycounty.org; disabatod@horrycounty.org;
loftusg@horrycounty.org; servantt@horrycounty.org; crawfordc@horrycounty.org;
bellamy.orton@horrycounty.org; Vaught, Johnny <jvaught@horrycounty.org>;
princep@horrycounty.org; hardeedan@horrycounty.org; allena@horrycounty.org
Subject: The public's right to know
Importance: High

Dear Horry County Council Members,

My name is Summer Dashe. I am the evening anchor and an investigative journalist at WPDE ABC 15. I
hope this email finds you all well.

On May 29, 2018 Krystal Dotson, the public information officer for the police department at the time,
was involved in a wreck in her county vehicle. Per county policy, she would have been required to get a
drug screen within 24 hours and an alcohol screen within 2 hours.

In June, I requested the results of those tests under the Freedom of Information Act. It has been nearly
eight months and I have been unable to obtain the information requested.

I am including a resource for you about FOIA law. You will find a PDF called “Public Official’s Guide to
Compliance with S.C. Freedom of Information Act.” You can find it here: http://scpress.org/foia.html

Governor Henry McMaster and Attorney General Alan Wilson both recommend following the protocol,
“when in doubt -- disclose.” This document is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with FOIA law.

According to the state’s leading FOIA law attorney, the information I have requested is public record and
should not be withheld. In fact, just three weeks after the incident in Horry County, the Charleston
Police Chief released information about an officer who had resigned following a failed drug test. You can
find that article here: https://abcnews4.com/news/local/charleston-police-officer-resigns-after-failed-
drug-test

As the elected officials leading this county, I am hoping you will support transparency, freedom of
information, and the public’s right to know. I hope you would consider compelling the county police
department or your director of public information to release the results.

Please respond to this email and let me know. Thank you.

SUMMER DASHE
EVENING ANCHOR
WPDE ABC15 | WWMB CW21
CELL: 843.742.9817
<image001.png>

****

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