Finney announces plans to seek re-election
by Robert Joseph Baker | March 18, 2014 7:34 pm
Third Circuit Solicitor Ernest “Chip” Finney III of Sumter announced Monday that he will seek re-election to his office, which prosecutes criminal cases in General Sessions courts in Clarendon, Sumter, Lee and Williamsburg counties. Finney, 57, has been a member of the South Carolina Bar Association since 1981, and practiced law in the midlands for three decades before his election to public office in 2010.
He said he has worked hard to organize highly skilled lawyers and support staff throughout the circuit.
“I am proud of our new program development in the areas of Worthless Checks, Juvenile Arbitration and Expungement,” he said. “Our staff has also expanded the use and support of the 3rd Circuit Drug Court, allowing many people a second chance to not only break the cycle of substance abuse, but also avoid a permanent criminal record.”
If granted a second term by voters, Finney hopes to implement a full-time case manager to oversee the scheduling of older and more complex cases, thus reducing the number of persons who spend long periods of time in pre-trial detention at the county detention facility.
“This plan would save tax dollars by reducing the burden on our county to pay for medicine, food and security,” he said. He also wants a website for lawyers and residents to track the roster of cases and the court schedule for trials and guilty pleas.
“This will improve the notice to citizen and law enforcement witnesses as court is scheduled during the year,” he added.
Finney currently oversees a staff of 30 in the four-county circuit, including 13 lawyers and 11 support staff, an office manager, an investigator, a victim’s advocate and three program directors. He and his wife, Tammy, have four children. Prior to becoming solicitor in 2011, he was a municipal court judge in Columbia and an attorney at a firm founded by his father, Ernest J. Finney Jr., the first black chief justice of the S.C. Supreme Court.
Finney will file as a Democrat to run in the primary scheduled for June 10. Filing for public office opened Sunday and will close noon March 30.
See the March 27 edition of The Manning Times for more.