Frazier legal threat silences Lexington County officials

tflach@thestate.comOctober 3, 2013 

Danny Frazier

LEXINGTON TOWN HALL

— A warning from the lawyer for Lexington Councilman Danny Frazier is muzzling other town leaders who chastised his alleged ties to Internet gambling.

The silence comes after Frazier attorney Jim Griffin sent Town Hall a letter threatening a legal attack if alleged defamation persisted.

Griffin demanded town leaders stop “claiming or insinuating that Mr. Frazier has been accused of or has engaged in any type of illegal conduct or acted in any way that violated the public trust.”

The warning is muting town leaders after unsuccessful pressure on Frazier to quit.

“I’m putting all that stuff behind,” Mayor Randy Halfacre said. “We need to move on.”

Councilman Steve MacDougall, sponsor of the resignation request, likewise is saying no more. “I’ve stayed completely away from the situation.”

The warning came because “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones,” Frazier said.

A fuss erupted last year on Frazier’s advice to online sweepstakes parlors that some law enforcement officials consider illegal gambling.

He was secretly recorded advising people posing as potential investors on ways to set up shop.

Those recordings generated a firestorm, as video gambling operations tried to re-establish a foothold in the Midlands.

The letter from Frazier’s lawyer came a few months after the recordings became public.

Frazier, a councilman for eight years, has apologized for what he said is “very poor judgment” but nothing worse.

It generated talk of an unconfirmed federal and state investigation into the conduct of some Lexington County officials.

Frazier, who serves through 2015, missed 12 of 27 council meeting since refusing to step down.

Those absences are due to minor surgery, illness of relatives and increasing demands of his job rather than being uncomfortable, he said. “I’ve stayed in contact with everything going on.”

Reach Flach at (803) 771-8483.

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