Sen. Ray Cleary says private investigation backs up magistrate choice

Senator Ray Cleary represents parts of Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties. / Courtesy: State of SC

State Senator Ray Cleary says a report from a private investigator he hired shows his choice for a magistrate is a good one.

Cleary hired private investigator Steve Smith to look into Dave Jolliff's past.

The senator has come under firefor selecting Jolliff, a former Horry County police officer, who was reprimanded twice during his time with the department.

Jolliff was verbally counseled for an alcohol related issue, and another time he was suspended after a report said he was "out of control" and "intoxicated" and urinated on a car outside a bar.

Cleary says the department would not have kept Jolliff on the force after those incidents if his bosses didn't think highly of him. He called the incidents "youthful indiscretions."

Senator Cleary says a former superior of Jolliff's says you don't get appointed to narcotics unless you are outstanding.

Cleary says no one the investigator talked to had negative things to say about Jolliff.

The senator says he chose Jolliff after listening to his resume and story, and told NewsChannel 15 "I don't pick my friends to be magistrates."

Senator Cleary also believes recent allegations that he sold items from a restaurant he owned with several others while the property was under lien, is part of a vendetta against him for choosing Jolliff for the magistrate's position.