Officer says Clemson coach ticket led to firing

ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) - A police officer in South Carolina thinks he was fired because he wrote a speeding ticket to Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney.

Former Pickens officer Michael McClatchy said Thursday he thinks city leaders in the community 20 miles from Clemson were angry he didn't let the coach go when he clocked him going 63 mph in a 35 mph zone on Sept. 3.

According to WYFF, Pickens city administrator Katherine Brackett says McClatchy was not fired for the ticket or ignoring the mayor's call. "Mr. McClatchy was terminated for engaging in private activity on company time on company equipment," she told WYFF.

City officials have said that McClatchy was fired because he used a police department computer to post his version of events on a message board for South Carolina fans.

McClatchy says he made the post from home and only used a city computer to make a minor grammatical correction two days later.

"Between the dates of September 4th and September 11th there was much scrutiny surrounding the issuing of the traffic ticket," McClatchy told members of the press Thursday. "Several colleagues made the statement, 'It's been nice working with you.'{} I was told on more than one occasion that the mayor was angry that I did not take his call on the traffic stop.{} I believe the speeding ticket would have been completely done away with if it had not been for my expressed desire to avoid preferential treatment for the guilty driver."

McClatchy's lawyer is University of South Carolina trustee Chuck Allen.

Swinney paid a reduced fine.

*WYFF contributed to this story