Bikini Car Wash Gets Cop Fired, Others Fired Up
A South Carolina police officer from Monck's Corner thought he was helping out a good cause by taking his cruiser down to be washed at a fundraiser for the Shriners Hospital in Georgia, sponsored by the Rockstar Tattoo Studio. But when his superiors were tipped off that the cruiser had been photographed draped in bikini-clad beauties with ink, the deputy was fired.
Curiously enough, one of the bikini-clad women with ink was actually a local sheriff's deputy as well. But she was not even disciplined. "She was involved in the event as a private citizen and did not violate the law, BCSO or county's policies," according to a statement released by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.
Moncks Corner officers are permitted to take their cruisers home, but there are strict policies governing their use, according to Moncks Corner Police Chief Chad Caldwell. Allowing scantily-clad women to be photographed next to a take-home cruiser is a violation of those policies, he told The Post and Currier, a South Carolina newspaper. "I think he took his personal car there first and then he went in his police car," Caldwell said. "I don't think he was trying to be malicious. I think he used completely poor judgment."
Event organizer Josh Badgett, who owns the sponsoring tattoo studio, finds that reasoning odd. "This is not the first time we've had a car wash. This is the fourth time," he told AOL Jobs. He also noted that they've washed other cruisers and even firetrucks in the past. "The officer is my hero. He just thought he was donating to charity. But this time somebody told his boss."
Badgett says that even though the event was called "T*ts for Tats," it was not the sleazy affair the media made it out to be. "My wife was helping wash the cars. An employee's 8-year-old daughter was there. The female officer involved is one of our clients, and a good friend, like the rest of the women helping to wash cars. The girls didn't get a thing out of it. They wanted to do it for charity."
But because one of the volunteers was a dancer at the Diamonds North nightclub in North Charleston, the media tagged it as a stripper car wash, Badgett explains. Proving the theory that sex sells, local media has been sending satellite trucks and reporters to his tattoo studio all week. "They sent one guy out to do newscasts live in the parking lot, so I had one of my (male) technicians put on my wife's bikini and go stand next to the news van," says Badgett. "He sponged off like at a car wash, but they didn't air it."
It will be interesting to see if the media airs coverage of the next charity car wash Badgett has decided to hold this Saturday in response to all the media attention. This time he intends to have male clients washing cars in swim suits, and sell hot dogs as well. He's calling the event, "Bikinis and Wienies."
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.