Lexington Town Council called for one of its own to step down after reports of a member being involved in setting up gambling operations in Lexington County.
In a special called meeting Friday, council approved a resolution requesting the immediate resignation of Councilman Danny Frazier.
Frazier, however, refused to resign.
In the recorded conversations obtained by the Free Times, Frazier tells an associate how to find locations in the county to open a parlor and how to get the video poker machines.
After the media reports, Mayor Randy Halfacre said council immediately moved to address the issue.
Council met in executive session Friday evening for about an hour to receive legal advice and discuss options since council can't punish Frazier for his alleged involvement with the gambling operations.
Council voted 5-0 in favor of requesting Frazier's resignation. Frazier abstained from voting.
Councilman Todd Shevchik wasn't present at the meeting.
In the resolution, council members said they "will not tolerate any type of behavior that causes embarrassment and lack of confidence in our town or town officials."
The resolution also states council feels the public trust has been affected.
Read the full resolution in the attached pdf.
Frazier responded to council's call for action by saying he stands by and that he will not resign.
In the statement, Frazier said nothing he has done is llegal and that he made and error in judgement. He also said he did not know his conversation was being recorded.
"During the course of that lengthy conversation, I boasted about friendships and said things that were exaggerated or simply not true, which reflected very poor judgment on my part. I guess we all like to think we are more important or influential than we actually are.
As a result of this, I have spent many sleepless nights and greatly regret my boasting. I do have many friends who are public officials, but I would never ask them, nor would they, do anything improper or illegal on my behalf."
Frazier never mentions the video poker operations.
More than 60 people were at the meeting to hear from council. Several Lexington residents called for Frazier to resign and told him his alleged actions "puts a blemish on all Lexington politicians."
Frazier is a part-time, civilian employee who serves as a community liason, according to the sheriff's department.
Lexington resident Audrey Meredith said there's no question about what Frazier's alleged ties to the gaming devices has done to Lexington.
"I don’t know that we’ll ever recover because as the other lady said this is not the first time we’ve had problems with him," Meredith said. "I don’t think that as long as he’s anywhere in this location that it’s ever going to get any better."
"He’s going to have to be removed once and for all. We have to do whatever we can to take care of it as well as anybody else that we find involved in this. And I think there are a lot of people involved."
In response to the citizens that spoke about losing trust in their elected officials and their feelings of embarassment, Halfacre talked about perseverance and how the town will move forward.
"One of the greatest traits of mankind is perseverance," Halfacre said. "We will persevere, and we will get through this and we will be strong. I promise you that."
"We have begun tonight to take this town back to where all of ya’ll can be proud of it and all of ya’ll can feel good about the leaders that you’ve elected."