Commissioner Giles “Buddy” Byrd is due back in court Nov. 2 – the day before Election Day – to face charges of felony larceny and possession of stolen goods.
Byrd was on the calendar today (Oct. 9) but the case was continued. A special prosecutor, Charles Spahos, has been assigned to the case. Byrd remains free on an unsecured bond.
Byrd was arrested Sept. 18 on charges that he took a storage building from a campground he partially owns at Lake Waccamaw. The barn was on a lot rented to Maury Reaves, who Byrd says owes six months rent. The storage building was returned after the sheriff’s office began an investigation.
The building has since been returned to Reaves, according to Mike Willis, Byrd’s attorney.
Willis said the charges were politically motivated because of conflict between Byrd and Sheriff Jody Greene. The sheriff said in a statement that politics played no role in the arrest.
Court records show that Byrd has faced a number of other charges in Columbus County and South Carolina, including misdemeanor stalking, trespassing and assault with a deadly weapon. All those charges were either dismissed or Byrd was found not guilty.
Byrd, a Democrat, is up for reelection as District Three county commissioner on Nov. 2. He faces Republican Ray Battle, a retired Highway Patrolman, on the ballot.