My goodness, infringing on an appointment by one of the area's most respectable legislators, Sen. Ray Cleary, is akin to [a violation]. Cleary has always been and continues to be a devout pillar for good government; his leadership, devotion and service to his constituency is excellent, to say the least. Questioning the senator's integrity of an appointment he is about to make is highly unusual and irresponsible. Attorney Robert Johnson (letter, "Cleary pre-emptive about position," Jan. 14) used this strategy, as he took Cleary to task relative to an e-mail Johnson sent to the senator asking for the preferred process in the consideration of a magistrate appointment, and then questions the merit of the reply when it is not to his liking. I understand the senator had a vetting procedure, where he went over the resumes of all qualified candidates and then made his selection in accordance to their qualifications, stating "the best qualified individual was chosen; one I can honor." Cleary further elaborated saying his reputation is most important to him and he will never do anything to tarnish it. For a small cabal of naysayers including Johnson, someone other than Dave Jolliff is better qualified is pure conjecture on their part.
Johnson's letter does not afford him any acclaim; he believes as an attorney he is better qualified than Jolliff, dismissing Jolliff's background as a law enforcement officer with apparent good credentials in the profession along with a hardy understanding of criminal law given his years of service with the Horry County Police Department. Johnson believes he is better qualified to serve as a magistrate due to his long years as a local attorney; this is a specious argument as a magistrate does not have to be an attorney, but one who is simply familiar with the law, and from what I have read Jolliff easily meets this criteria.
One line in Johnson's letter I totally agree with is "a senator may appoint a magistrate," which Cleary is considering. Cleary need not worry over this appointment; it was done in the spirit of good government and through the selection of a well-qualified individual for magistrate.
Cleary has served and performed with distinction for the past six years. He has always done his job with fidelity, competence, honor and a purposeful obligation to duty as a legislator. For those who are engaging in this demagoguery with regard to his selection I ask them to dissent in a calm, civil, fair and decent manner. Cleary doesn't have to be vilified nor raked over the coals for his choice. The senator has many followers who support him in this endeavor; I am one of them and will continue to be.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.