Casualty of politics E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

One of the things people outside law enforcement don't quite understand is the width of the tightrope officers have to walk when dealing public officials. For instance, let's say you're talking to some guys in a fire station and a state representative's wife comes in and starts making a scene, throwing around wild accusations and pointing fingers. In short, a public disturbance. Should you turn on the dash-cam so there's an impartial record of what went down? Seems like a reasonable thing for a cop in that situation to do right? Well it cost a former North Myrtle Beach public safety officer his job.


Jeff Senter is now fighting to get it back. Senter is seeking a public grievance hearing from his former employer after he was terminated from his job for reasons that boggle the mind. Jeff Senter, a 16-year veteran of law enforcement, claims he was fired after an incident involving him and the wife of State Representative Tracy Edge.

An attorney for Senter said Edge's wife showed up at a Cherry Grove fire station and began to cause a scene. At some point during an argument, Senter began recording the incident on a dash cam videotape. "She was making accusations and acting inappropriately," Greg McCollum, an attorney representing the former police officer told reporters with WMBF News.

Mrs. Edge admits she had acted inappropriately and released a statement to that effect. "I am truly sorry and regret my actions in the incident that occurred several weeks ago.  I take full responsibility for what happened and apologize for the trouble this has caused," stated Melissa Edge, in a statement to WMBF News.

Senter's attorney said his client had followed the proper procedure and had followed the orders of his supervisors by not filing an incident report or making any arrests.

But several news outlets have requested the dash cam video from the City of North Myrtle Beach. There's nothing like a politician's wife creaming at public servants in a fire station as far as ratings go. But the city so far has denied those media requests.

The city says it's worried about Mrs. Edge's privacy, not the fact that 16-year police veteran got sold out to keep a politician's wife from potential embarrassment. The city will not comment on personnel matters and have yet to set a date for a public grievance hearing.

"Essentially the reason he was fired is because the news media asked for the tape," McCollum told reporters flatly. State Representative Tracy Edge also released a statement claiming he's been "keeping out of the city's decisions." "Melissa and I are working through this and seek to strengthen our marriage and family.  We ask for understanding and prayers from our friends and everyone in the community.

"We will continue to work for the betterment of our community and humbly ask for your support, thoughts and prayers as we move forward. We never asked for any special treatment and have had no role or involvement in any actions or decisions made by the city," read Edge's statement.

That's the thing about "special treatment."

The people that get don't even have to ask.

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