Florence City Council To Hold A Closed Door Hearing on Linda Becote

by By Larry D. Smith Publisher of The Community Times
Larry D. Smith, Publisher Larry D. Smith, Publisher

I received the notice Mrs. Linda Becote will have a hearing before the members of Florence City Council on April 20, 2023. The hearing is being held to determine if Mrs. Becote should be removed as a Commissioner of the Housing Authority of Florence for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or misconduct in office. To the best of my knowledge, Mrs. Becote has not been convicted in a US court of law of any of those charges. So,whatever happened to being “Innocent Until Proven Guilty” in a court of law?

While I have heard some of the charges Mrs. Becote is said to have committed, why does the Florence City Council get to have a hearing in a back room out of public view to review and discuss crimes? A news release regarding the “Hearing” states the hearing may be addressed in Executive Session, and Florence City Council may take action on the matters discussed in the Executive Session during the public part of their special meeting.

Like most of you, I do not know if Mrs. Becote is guilty of any of the alleged charges, but there is still a thing in this country called “Due Process.” Not only that but a hearing behind closed doors? No matter what you and I think of Mrs. Becote and the challenges of the Florence Housing Authority, none of us have the right to pass judgment without first knowing all the facts and allowing her to have her day in court where a jury of her peers will judge her on those facts.

I am sure the Florence City Council has other actions it can take while Mrs. Becote is under investigation, other than a backroom hearing to remove her from the Florence County Housing Authority Board. For instance, they can suspend her until the case is heard in a legal court. Then they will know if she has been proven guilty in a real court of law. Today, we are all in such a rush to get the bad guys that we want to forget the law of the land. We have people in this city and state killing people every day. Where is your rush in dealing with the gun violence in East Florence every weekend?