LAMAR, SC (WBTW) – The mayor of Lamar is being accused of theft and forgery, according to incident reports from the Darlington County Sheriff’s office. The alleged victim is her 92-year-old father. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating the claims.
According to incident reports News13 obtained from the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office, Mayor Darnell Byrd-McPherson is accused of forging her father’s name on documents and taking $40,000 from his bank account.
There are three separate incident reports from the month of August. In the first report from Aug. 8, Lawton Byrd told police that the mayor’s husband, Joseph McPherson, grabbed him by the arm and pushed him after an argument he had with his daughter. According to the report, Byrd told deputies the argument was over money he withdrew from his own bank account. According to the report, Byrd didn’t want to press charges, but wanted the incident documented.
On Aug. 23, deputies were dispatched to the magistrate’s office in Hartsville to meet Byrd, who wanted to report a forgery and another assault. This time, Byrd told deputies that his daughter, Mayor Darnell Byrd-McPherson, forged his name on a power-of-attorney document. According to the incident report, Byrd told deputies that Mayor Byrd-McPherson used the document to take $40,000 from his bank account before closing the account. Deputies noted on the incident report that Byrd’s signature on the victim’s report, and on separate index cards, did not match the signature on the power-of-attorney document.
In the same incident report, Byrd told deputies the mayor’s husband, Joseph McPherson, assaulted him on Aug. 7. Byrd told deputies his daughter started crying when McPherson grabbed him by the shirt and told him to, “get his hands off her father.” Byrd told deputies that McPherson then said to the mayor, “He don’t’ know who he messing with,” and that he would, “kill him.”
Byrd also filed another report on Aug. 29 claiming his daughter, Mayor Byrd-McPherson, took his car, a 1988 Jeep Wagoneer. Byrd told deputies that the mayor took the car two months earlier and gave it to her son. Byrd also said the mayor used the forged power-of-attorney documents to cancel his car insurance.
A deputy noted in one of the incident reports that Byrd, “is fully in charge of all his faculties and finances at 92 years old.”
When asked for a response to the allegations made by her father, Mayor Byrd-McPherson told News13 “I love my Dad. I live by the commandments given in the Bible, to honor my Dad that my days may be long upon the land!”
According to a spokesperson with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, SLED has an open investigation involving Mayor Byrd-McPherson, but can’t comment any further. The Sheriff’s office in Darlington County requested SLED look into the accusations.
Mayor Byrd-McPherson tells News13 that her attorney has advised her not to speak about the investigation.
News13 viewers will remember that back in March, Mayor Byrd-McPherson, filed a police report claiming someone had vandalized her car with a powdery, yellow substance. Police in Lamar and a Darlington County Sheriff’s deputy investigated the substance and determined it was pollen. The mayor denied it was pollen, and said police did not use the proper investigative techniques when they looked into what happened.