By: Alex Grant
Protesters gathered at the Lexington County Courthouse Thursday afternoon to call for the resignation of Solicitor Donnie Myers. Myers was arrested last Saturday and charged with driving under the influence, his second DUI since 2005.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol released video of the arrest Saturday night, where Myers is administered several field sobriety test. In one of them, Myers is asked to recite the alphabet and does get further than the letter O.
Myers was booked at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center in Richland County. Several protesters asked why he was not booked in the Lexington County Detention Center. Chandra Cleveland-Jennings, a former Richland County Deputy who spent 19 years with the department says Myers is being hypocritical by prosecuting laws he does not follow himself.
"You know that the law states that there is to be no drinking and driving," she said to the crowd. "Our solicitor helped enforce that law, and now we hear, over and over again, he breaks that law."
Some people, like Cleveland-Jennings, drew attention to the illegality of Myers' actions, others focused on moral aspects. Patricia Voelker is a volunteer with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD). She says if Myers does not resign, the people of Lexington should vote him out of office.
"I think it'd be nice if he manned up and removed himself," she said. "If he doesn't, we need to unelect him."
Voelker lost three grandchildren to drunk driving and she also said that Myers should not be concerned with keeping his job, but rather seeking treatment for alcohol abuse.
"If he's had, from what I'm hearing, so many repeat episodes of drinking inappropriately, he needs to be working on himself. He needs to figure out what his problem is and get himself sober," said Voelker.
Others in the crowd were optimistic Myers' recent arrest will bring change, Voelker says she isn't getting her hopes up, saying that her worst case scenario is, "not a damn thing will happen."
Some protesters say if he does not step down on his own, they will begin pressuring Governor Haley to take executive action.
Workers in the courthouse say they have not seen Myers at work since his arrest Saturday evening. Carolina News has reached out to the solicitor's office for comment and has not received a response.