Documents stolen, commissioner charged with harassment

Columbus Co. Commissioner Giles Byrd
Columbus Co. Commissioner Giles Byrd
Giles Byrd (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Giles Byrd (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Columbus County Commissioner Giles Buddy Byrd was arrested and charged with first degree harassment, Friday in Horry County.

According to an incident report filed by Byrd's ex-fiance Brenda Drew, someone entered her home in South Carolina and removed documents from her kitchen table.  The papers stolen contained passwords and account information to her email account.  It states Drew decided to place her laptop computer on the edge of a placemat to see if it would be moved when she left for work.  According to the report, the computer was moved from the edge of the placemat.  It also states her favorites screen had been replaced and she could no longer open her electronic safe.   She believes whoever entered her home tampered with the computer and typed the wrong password into the safe so many times, it froze.

The police report does not list Byrd's name, but does say Drew told police she had recently ended a serious relationship.  Drew told police she believed her ex-fiance still had keys to her home.

Monday, Byrd told WECT he did not enter Drew's home.

According to an arrest warrant issued July 26, 2011, Byrd placed an electronic tracking device on Drew's car without her knowledge.  The warrant says the tracking device was on her car for 12 days before she found it.

Byrd said he hired an investigating firm to follow Drew and believes they may have put the device on her car.  He said he didn't think it was illegal in South Carolina.

Byrd also said Monday that someone has been writing checks to get money out of his personal account.  While he didn't accuse Drew of writing the checks, he did say an investigation will reveal everything.

Byrd was charged with a stalking misdemeanor and communicating threats in 1999, but those charges were dismissed by the district attorney at that time.

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