Editor’s Notes: Folks, most of you probably already know that Cleveland County Government is rife with corruption and cover-up. Most likely all the way back to 1841 when Cleveland County was formed from splitting off portions of Lincoln and Rutherford Counties. For the purposes of this series, we only go back 30 years with this article and work our way forward to this very day.
The article shown below was published in 2002 but goes back to 1989. This is a good starting place because many of you might remember the subjects as things actually happened. One thing of note is the original Commissioner landscam of taxpayer dollars was totally recorded in public records down at the Register of Deeds Office. Since I disclosed this scam, the Commissioners have not gotten any less corrupt, only better at covering up. Unfortunately, it appears as you go back to 1989, the crooks back then were way more honest than the crooks of today.
The Real Scandal
By Robert A. Williams
The Smoke Screen.
A smoke screen has been thrown up around the real scandal at Gardner-Webb University. Professors are resigning. Students are protesting. Lawyers and others are writing letters to the Shelby Star. The GW President is under fire and giving interviews. Board members are covering up and giving interviews. On and on. They say it’s about integrity and honesty. They say it’s about one little change of grade so a basketball star can play basketball for GW. It’s all a smoke screen for the real scandal at Gardner-Webb and Cleveland County. The real scandal is about money!!! And who gets it!!!
Lets start from the start.
Gardner-Webb University has been bragged about for many years. A small Baptist college that hit the big time. A standard of excellence, honesty and integrity beyond reproach. And other such accolades and pats on the back. The Charlotte Observer’s Sunday (Sept. 15, 2002) front-page story instantly destroyed Gardner-Webb University’s “do-no-wrong” image for about a million readers to see. Gardner-Webb’s reputation hit the dirt just like the Sheriff’s Department after the latest death in the jail. Only thing wrong with the Observer’s story is it’s chicken feed compared to the real corruption at Gardner-Webb. And beyond. Things are coming out though. And it’s about time.
The present scandal at Gardner-Webb is about the GW President ordering a grade change for a star basketball player that kept him playing ball in a GW uniform. GW President Dr. Chris White is used to playing ball too. He over-ruled Gardner-Webb’s own rules when he ordered a failing grade removed from the star basketball player’s record so his grade point average would be high enough for the star to keep playing basketball for GW.
This kind of thing probably goes on everywhere, but “Goody Two Shoes” Gardner-Webb has pumped themselves up so high that when they got caught it just “popped their bubble.” A bubble mostly full of hot air. The rest being manure. What the Charlotte Observer really caught Gardner-Webb doing was the cover-up.
The cover-up is where Gardner-Webb shows its corruption. Just like the rest of the Cleveland County IN-Crowd. Why not, they’re mostly the same people.
The Observer Story quoted name after name of people who let the unethical behavior go unreported and unchallenged because of one thing. They were afraid they would be fired. They were afraid they would be blackballed in the high society of Cleveland County. They were afraid-Pure and simple.
These were smart people with good educations. We have all heard the admonishment to “get an education, they can’t take that away from you.” No they can’t take your education away from you, but they can sure take your job away. These people were smart people and they knew what would happen if they blew the whistle.
They are still afraid. For good reason.
The G-W Board is backing Dr. White and his doings. They have to. There is more to hide. It goes back a long time and it’s much worse than changing a grade for a basketball player. The latest news out of Gardner-Webb is that the Board backed white and demoted two Deans for trumped up reasons. All of this goes to show that the fear of coming forward was real and the cover-up continues.
It started with the sale of school property that cost Gardner-Webb and Cleveland County hundreds of thousands of dollars. Read the following story that was written several years ago but swept under the rug. Dr. White was at Gardner-Webb when all this happened. In County government, so was the County Manager and so was the same County Attorney. The lawyer that handled the land scam for the moneyman was James W. Morgan. Presently Superior Court Judge James Morgan.