‘Dark Days’

Supporters speak out in wake of mill director’s firing

By Jason Evans

Staff Reporter

PICKENS — Supporters of former Hagood Mill director Billy Crawford packed Pickens County Council chambers Monday night to protest his firing.

Crawford was terminated May 2, and Hagood Mill Foundation chair Betty McDaniel resigned after the firing. During the public forum portion of Monday’s council meeting, several residents spoke in support of Crawford.

Dean Watson said these are “dark days” for the mill and Pickens County.

“It’s been two long, sad years seeing the corruption, the ineptitude, cronyism,” Watson said. “Nepotism. It’s called friends and family getting preferential hiring — and outright bullying and intimidation of employees.”

A tourism consultant, Watson said he’d offered to meet with county officials “to discuss solutions to problems at the mill,” but his offer had not been accepted.

He told council “the situation is dire.”

“It needs to be corrected, and you six men are the ones to do it,” he said.

Marianne Hoynes said she began volunteering at the mill after being “very, very impressed” when visiting the mill herself.

“But it was really hard to hear whenever Billy’s boss would come around, it was very hard to hear him being denigrated the way he was, talked

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