Jim Preacher (Image: Orangeburg County Detention Center)
Orangeburg County, SC (WLTX) - Norway Mayor Jim Preacher has been arrested on charges of impersonating a police officer and misconduct in office.
The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed the arrest Tuesday. Preacher was booked at the Orangeburg County Detention Center.
An arrest warrant states Preacher pulled over a state trooper back on January 18th of this year, but did not have the authority to do so, since he was not a certified police officer.
Another arrest warrant states Preacher instructed the former town clerk of Norway to pay him a police officer's salary in addition to his mayor's salary without council approval. The warrant goes on to say that Preacher hired his son to a position at the town's water treatment department, which SLED says was a violation of the duties of his position.
Back in January, Preacher pulled over a state trooper, claiming that he had the right to do so because he was acting as the chief constable in Norway. Preacher had been pulled over moments earlier by the same officer and ticketed for suspicion of speeding.
However, last month, the state attorney general's office issued an opinion to SLED saying that Preacher could not serve as both constable and mayor. In the decision, the attorney general's office said to do so would create a conflict of interest that violated state law.
Preacher was released on a personal recognizance bond after a court appearance Tuesday afternoon.