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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It’s seems commissioners in our area are having a hard time keeping out of trouble. The Columbus County Commission Chairman was arrested Friday in South Carolina and charged with stalking.

Chairman Giles Byrd was arrested and charged with stalking down in Horry County. According to Horry County’s J. Reuben Long Detention Center, Byrd was booked around 3 p.m. and was let go less than two hours later on a $1,500 bond. Folks who live in Columbus County were not too pleased to hear the news.

“I realize that we’re all human beings and we all make mistakes, but when you’re in a position like that, you need to conduct yourself accordingly,” said Traci Lookadoo, a Columbus County resident.

Byrd is the latest in a string of county commissioners recently arrested.

“So it’s o.k. for them sitting up in their chairs to do bad things, but for other people it’s not?” said Justin Graham, a Columbus County resident. “Maybe that’s the second standard in it.”

Kure Beach Commissioner Barry Nelder was arrested earlier this month for possession of marijuana. Pender County Commissioner, David Williams, heads back to court in Mecklenburg County for his DWI charge, and Brian Berger of New Hanover County was arrested in June for an assault charge that was later dropped.

“They just like to do what they want to do,” said Graham. “When they get up there in those positions, they think they can do whatever they want to do, basically.”

According to Byrd’s son, the woman who accused the chairman of stalking her is now being investigated for forging checks from Byrd’s bank account.

Byrd did not want to comment on the charge and says his attorney advised him not to speak about the case. Fellow county commissioners also declined to speak with WWAY about the stalking charge.


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