Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Voice on Judgment against McKie

The Independent Voice of Blythewood & Fairfield County newspaper (print and online) published a thorough article about the recent judgment filed against Amelia McKie, who still sits on the board of Richland School District Two. Reporter Michael Smith's article is dated August 1, 2019 and details the $51.750 judgment and the reasons for it. Click on the link to read his article, or go to www.blythewoodonline.com, click on News, and scroll down to the August 1st article. You may need to click on Next at the bottom of the page, if the article is no longer on Page 1.

Smith also describes the late filing of McKie's Campaign Disclosure Form that was due July 10, 2019. The Report must be filed quarterly, and this is the second time in 2019 that McKie has been late. Smith's article said that he contacted McKie by phone message on July 18 and within an hour the Report appeared on the Ethics Commission website.

While not reported in his article, that tardiness cost McKie $100.00 in a civil fine by the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

McKie wrote to Smith, "My campaign disclosures were prepared in advance of July 10 and were ‘saved’ until the July 10th date."

Smith then reports what the Executive Director of the South Carolina Ethics Commission told him - that "McKie started the online application process on July 10, but didn’t complete it until Thursday [July 18]."

So who is telling the truth. My money is on the words of the Ethics Commission Executive Director. 

When the whole ethics and fines snarl became a topic of public discussion at school board meetings at the beginning of 2019, McKie said she was taking responsibility for her mistakes, apologized, and said they wouldn't happen again.

She managed to file on time the Campaign Disclosure Report that was due on January 10, 2019.

Then she was late filing the Report due April 10, 2019 (filed on May 8) and she was late filing the Report that was due July 10 (filed July 18).

Aside from the unresolved questions surrounding the legitimacy of her participation on the board and that she served illegally as Board Chair from November 13, 2018 to June 30, 2019 and signed official bond documents as Board Chair in 2019), it is not rocket science to file the Campaign Disclosure Report online.

It's actually quite simple. She is reporting the same numbers as on previous reports. You open the form and plug in the numbers. Then you read each prompt and follow it. I suspect there is no secret language on the form. As with any other online online, a submission is not complete until the message is visible that so indicates.

How can you make decisions on the board of a billion-dollar school district, when you can't even submit a simple report on time?

Richland 2 has a Board Policy pertaining to compliance with reporting obligations.

The board is spending considerable time nitpicking board policies so that they can catch employees and students doing something wrong. What about enforcing the board policies when board members, or those pretending to be, are caught doing things wrong?

Of course, McKie could self-report her Board Policy violations. 

I am reminded of the late Reuben Greenberg, the former Chief of Police in Charleton, S.C. When he was a rookie cop, he got into an accident while enroute to a call. In an article in Guideposts magazine years ago, he told the interviewer that the accident was his fault, so he wrote himself a ticket!
Reuben Greenberg (1943-2014) ©The Talon