Retired Calhoun County clerk of court’s motto: ‘courtesy, efficiency and service’

Calhoun County’s longtime clerk of court oversaw technological improvements in his office, but he thinks showing courtesy and respect were the real keys to his success.

Ken Hasty retired as the Calhoun County clerk of court on Sept. 1 after 18 years.

The 66-year-old Sumter native was elected as Calhoun County’s first African American clerk of court on Nov. 2, 2004.

With that election, he also became the first African American in the county to be elected to a countywide office and was also the first African American male to become a clerk of court in South Carolina.

Hasty was no stranger to Calhoun County because he had previously served 28 years with the South Carolina Highway Patrol. He retired as a sergeant in 2004.

His entire career with the SCHP was served in Calhoun County, but it wasn’t long after his retirement that he decided to serve his community in another way as clerk of court.

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“When I first came to Calhoun County, I was 22 years old. So I didn’t realize that I’d stick around this long and make it such as permanent assignment, but it was a good career. It was a good career as a trooper. I learned a lot from the Highway Patrol, which poured over to being clerk of court,” Hasty said.

“My whole 28 years on the Highway Patrol was spent in Calhoun County. So I came by this courthouse quite a few times with various court cases from the Highway Patrol. So it just kind of stayed with me, and I smoothly transitioned from a Highway Patrol sergeant into clerk of court,” he said.

Hasty said the implementation of an electronic filing system in the clerk of court’s office was a key objective that he accomplished.

“After working with the Governor’s Office and Business Information Systems, we got the capability through our systems at the Recorder of Deeds Office because I was also the recorder of deeds. Calhoun County was the second county to initiate e-filing for deeds and just about everything else you want to file,” he said.

Hasty said one of the biggest challenges of his office was getting people to serve on jury duty.

“Each time we have a jury, we have to call in roughly about 150 people in a pool so that we can draw at least 14 out of it, which is 12 jurors and two alternates. That’s one of the big challenges, but most people do serve diligently, and they serve well,” he said.

Hasty, who received a criminal justice degree from Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, has seen many changes over his career, including the renovation of the historic Calhoun County Courthouse in 1987 and 2018. The installation of a new copper roof and carpet were among the renovations completed in the latest major restoration effort.

Hasty said it all has helped create a good working environment for him and his colleagues, with his staff being among the things he’ll miss most about his job.

“Secondly would be the citizens, my constituents who I see day in and day out. I will miss and have already begun to miss some of the judges, some of our folks in our solicitor’s office and all the co-workers in the county system,” he said.

Lakeisha Moorer, the county’s deputy clerk of court, was appointed by Gov. Henry McMaster to fill Hasty’s seat. She was sworn in on Sept. 6. The seat is up for election again in November 2024.

Hasty said he has tried to practice the golden rule in his dealings with his staff and constituents. He learned that from his days with the SCHP.

“I tried to treat all my employees the way I wanted to be treated. That held out real good for me. Your job is to serve the citizens that you represent. I don’t see myself needing to be here if I can’t be of benefit to my constituents, a benefit to the county, or an asset in that manner,” he said.

Hasty continued, “I taught all my clerks that my whole motto from the Highway Patrol was courtesy, efficiency and service. I lived by that. So that poured over to this job, and it worked very well when it was used.

“It’s in short supply now because the whole game has changed. I would say people in our society have changed. That’s to be expected, but, you know, a lot of times extreme changes endanger a lot of things that we hold true and believe in. We have to make sure that everybody’s included,” he said.

“As a court system, everybody has to be included, and they have to be included equally. My biggest thing is to make sure everybody is included on an across-the-board basis,” Hasty said.

He said Calhoun County Council has worked hard to support economic development in the county, where he has seen industry flourish and keep the tax base relatively stable.

“Everybody expects taxes to creep up periodically as time goes on. You can’t get things accomplished if you stay at one tax base forever. … The more industry that you can garner into your community, the less taxes your citizens will have to pay. That’s ultimately somebody else’s job,” Hasty said, smiling, “but we try to keep up with it so we can explain that to people.”

Making sure his constituents were well-informed on topics such as, for example, living wills was also key to his success as clerk of court.

“I put on seminars with South Carolina Legal Services to help residents know how to make a will or do certain things that most of us don’t normally do in our community. I thought that was a big benefit just to help with those sorts of things. When I first became clerk, that was one of the things that I accomplished. That was part of what I set out to do,” Hasty said.

He’ll miss the massive amount of paperwork he sometimes found himself under the least, and looks forward to spending more time with his family.

His family includes his wife of 26 years, Delia, a bilingual customer service representative at the Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities, their three daughters and their 10-month-old granddaughter.

“With serving 28 years with the Highway Patrol, 18 years here as clerk and then having a new grandbaby, I just want to spend more time with my family now. I think 46 years in public service is a good stint of service. So it’s time to wind down and do some of the things that I like to do,” Hasty said.

Cooking is one of them.

“A lot of men like fishing, riding motorcycles and stuff like that, but I like to cook. Cooking is my preferred stress reliever. I do all the cooking in my house. So it’s one of those things that I enjoy doing,” Hasty said.

“Who knows? Maybe I’ll buy me a food truck and go to some of these festivals and do things like that. My whole thing is I love to interact with people. People are the driving force for a lot of the things that I do,” he said.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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