Thursday, April 4, 2019

Take the Oath or Go Home

Consider this scenario and comment below how you would view it.

What would be the proper name for a person who claims a public office but who is not entitled to hold it?

To hold a public office you must be qualified and eligible.

Being "qualified" means you are old enough, have the correct residency, are not disqualified because of criminal convictions, and are legally elected.

Being "eligible" means you meet all the requirements.

If you've been following this blog, you'll know where I'm going with this.

One of the requirements of being eligible is the filing of the Statement of Economic Interests Report with the South Carolina Ethics Commission. This reports reveals potential conflicts of interest and sources of income.

The law says you cannot take the oath of office or begin your duties unless you have filed that Statement.

How hard is that to understand? I'm thinking that a third-grader could understand it. It's kind of like, "Johnny, you don't get to go to fourth grade unless you have passed third grade. Understand?"

What does Johnny say? "I got it." If Johnny fails third grade but shows up for fourth grade, he can't get in.

If you take the oath of office before you file the Statement, the oath doesn't count (because the law says you cannot take it).

You can't begin your duties until you take the oath of office.

After you file the Statement, then you can take the oath and begin your duties.

So what do you call the person who doesn't follow the instructions and assumes the duties of the office?

1. An imposter?
2. A cheat?
3. A fraud?
4. A trespasser?
5. A usurper?

Do you think there is some risk, perhaps some breach of fiduciary duty, to the others on the Board for allowing unauthorized persons to carry on the duties of a Board member?

Is it time for the five legal Richland 2 School Board members to stand up and say, "Enough! Take the oath of office now or go home."

Next School Board Meeting - Tues., April 9, 6:30PM

Parents, voters, taxpayers are requested at the next Richland 2 School Board meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 2019. Please plan to speak and remember to sign up on the two forms.

The public session starts at 6:30PM at R2i2.

The public session is preceded by an Executive Session at 5:30PM. A public session opens the 5:30PM meeting and the Board immediately votes to enter a closed Executive Session.

If Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes have not taken the oath of office by then, it is hoped that the five legal members of the Board will vote "No" on the motion to go to Executive Session.

In the Executive Session there is discussion about confidential student matters, including suspension, expulsions, transfers, referral for mental health treatment at LRADAC, and other matters specified on a special Agenda. NO decisions can be made in Executive Session and NO action can be taken. Matters must be voted on in the public session, although the public will not know who Student 1 or Student 2 is.

The Executive Session is closed to the public. Only legal Board members should be allowed in it. Since November 13, 2018, the five legal members of the Board have allowed McKie and Holmes in the Executive Sessions.

This needs to stop. Now.

Do laws matter? Do ethics matter? Where are we headed, if they don't matter?