Just when you thought things couldn't get any more lurid in Simpsonville, they somehow have. There are competing public Facebook groups that are battling out to see which can throw mud in the continuing saga of Keith Grounsell.
On one side, there is Why Simpsonville, which was a major factor in last November's revolt that switched the Simpsonville City Council from Pro-Grounsell to what appears to be Anti-Grounsell. Why Simpsonville has posted numerous times in the past few days asking very pointed questions about the integrity of Grounsell and has shared several emails between him, city officials and the media. The group also has taken a shot across the bow at pro Grounsell supporters. For example, this post from Sunday, April 17.
"After City Council voted to go into Executive Session on Tuesday, April 12, Councilman Taylor Graham approached the audience as the rest of council left to meet. Graham tells Chief Grounsell to "go over there" and states that he wants to talk to "Stan." Graham proceeds to whisper something at length to Stan Ward, then pats him on the back before joining the rest of council.
Stan Ward is one of the citizens listed as plaintiff on a lawsuit against the city in a suit served just prior to this meeting.
Do you think it was appropriate for Simpsonville City Councilman Taylor Graham (the defendant) to speak with Stan Ward (the plaintiff) while in Executive Session on a matter that was related to Ward's lawsuit."
For the record, Graham replied that he didn't know Ward was suing the City and called out Why Simpsonville for not questioning him first about what happened.
Here is another post from last week:
"In August of 2012 then-councilwoman Geneva Lawrence instructed the city's HR Director at the time to stop checking Keith Grounsell's references. After employment was offered and accepted it was discovered that he was not a certified police officer. Other discrepancies were discovered in 2013.
Do you think the City of Simpsonville should be asked to complete the employment references for Police Chief Grounsell for public information purposes?"
On the other side of the Facebook fence is Simpsonville Residents Online, which claims in its about section: "Simpsonville Residents Online has two goals. One of those goals is to provide a forum where residents can express and debate their opinions in a friendly, wholesome environment. The other goal is to elevate the tone of discussions so that at the end of the debate we are still friends and neighbors."
In between pictures of birds and flowers, we see snippets like this:
"Just because you don't agree with someone is no reason to tell them to leave this group. A dear friend of mine left the group because people were rude Everett Smith is a dear friend. He's been there through many difficult times. I know that he will fight to the end for his friends. Just because we don't have the same set of friends does not make him any less of a friend. Take that into consideration . Just because we all don't agree on everything doesn't mean we can't all share the vision of Simpsonville healing. In a month all of this will be old news. And I will still have my friend. Will you?"