Sen. David Thomas Staffer Appointed Magistrate

June 3, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

James F. Hicks III, (source Facebook)

Sen. David Thomas policy and communications director James Hicks, who was recently appointed to be a Greenville County magistrate, was nominated on April 28th, 2010, while he was still serving on Thomas’ staff, according to documents we have received from the governors’ office via a FOIA request.

According to the SC Judicial Department, no judge or candidate shall endorse or publicly oppose a candidate for office, makes speeches on the behalf of a candidate and many other stipulations.  You can read more of the rules at the SC Judicial Department website.

What further drives questions into the nomination is the lead signature of David Thomas on the nomination form, Hicks employment with Thomas’ law firm and the glaring omission of his involvement/employment with Thomas’ congressional campaign.

It’s not like Thomas’ didn’t know about his involvement, he was being paid by the campaign and sent out communications as late as May 14th, 2010.

Thomas Campaign Payments to Hicks

We have outstanding calls with Thomas’ congressional campaign and to Magistrate Hicks that have yet to be returned and have requested meeting minutes to determine who actually nominated Hicks from the Greenville Delegation meeting.

Spokesman Ben Fox told us yesterday that the Governor’s office was consulting with their legal teams to determine what should be done with the appointment given the violations made by Hicks.

Related Documents:
Hicks Nomination
Hicks Application Page 1
Hicks Application Page 2

Related Articles:
Congressional Campaign Employs Magistrate Judge

Congressional Campaign Employs Magistrate Judge

June 1, 2010 by  
Filed under SC Politics

Sen. David Thomas, Candidate for Congress, SC-4

Sen. David Thomas, Candidate for Congress, SC-4

Effective May 25, 2010, Sen. David Thomas’ congressional campaign was employing a magistrate judge.

Jame F. Hicks III has been acting as Thomas’ political and communications director since June of 2009 for his congressional campaign.  Which means during this time, his nomination was pending.  We are still researching to find when Hicks was nominated and name submitted to Sanford’s office for approval.

Why is this a problem?  It is a a direct violation of judges code of conduct.  Hicks should have known for some time that he was nominated and probably should have ceased his political activities.

According to the Judges Code of Conduct, Canon 7:

CANON 7 A JUDGE SHOULD REFRAIN FROM POLITICAL ACTIVITY

  1. A judge should not:
    1. act as a leader or hold any office in a political organization;
    2. make speeches for a political organization or candidate or publicly endorse or oppose a candidate for public office;
    3. solicit funds for or pay an assessment or make a contribution to a political organization or candidate, attend political gatherings, or purchase tickets for political party dinners, or other functions.
  2. A judge should resign the judicial office when the judge becomes a candidate either in a primary or in a general election for any office.
  3. A judge should not engage in any other political activity; provided, however, this should not prevent a judge from engaging in the activities described in Canon 4.

Hicks website was taken down since his appointment on May 25th..  A cache of his website remains on the Google servers showing his political activities.  You can view our screen capture here.  Hicks collected $2400 in the first quarter of the year from the Thomas campaign according to FEC records.

We have a call outstanding to the campaign, in particular Mr. Hicks concerning his appointment. At the time of publication, Mr. Hicks did not immediately return our calls.

Related Information:
Senate Journal of Hicks Appointment

Related Articles:
Sen. David Thomas Staffer Appointed Magistrate