Wednesday, February 12, 2020

S.C. rules on FOIA law

An important court decision involving FOIA is reported in The Independent Voice of Blythewood & Fairfield County. Read their article here.

The issue involved an agenda change by a public body. The Voice's story explains it.

How does this apply to Richland 2?

Remember when, recently, Richland 2 failed to post an attachment regarding a Resolution on a bond matter to its agenda?

This meant the public had no idea what the Board was going to consider and be asked to approve. Did the Board even have trouble getting the Resolution in advance?

The public was deprived of the opportunity to read and study the Resolution before the board considered it. At the meeting that night the Board Chair remarked, after my three-minute comment on that issue, that the Resolution had been posted to the website. Actually, it hadn't been; but the Resolution was attached to the Agenda just before the public session started at 6:30PM.

This constituted an illegal change to the agenda within 24 hours. That was a violation of South Carolina Code of Laws Section 30-4-80.

At least one Trustee did read the entire Resolution carefully. That trustee made a motion to delete the sentence allowing the superintendent to direct the District's bond counsel (Burr Forman) to "associate" co-counsel (Jabber & Isaac). In other words, to add an unnecessary component to the bond work. Either the District would cough up the money to pay Jabber & Isaac, or Burr Forman would have to pay Jabber out of the money it is paid by Richland 2.

The Board voted 7-0 to delete that sentence, smacking down the superintendent. But he got in the last word during the Board and Superintendent Comments. He said he'll be asking for Jabber & Isaac to get work in the future.

Jabber & Isaac P.A. lists no bond issue experience whatsoever on its website.

Why does the superintendent like Jabber & Isaac? For diversity? Because the two lawyers there are black, as is he? Because at least one (black) board member may be a good buddy of one of the lawyers there?

The Post and Courier published a lengthy article on February 9, 2020 about the cozy relationship between Richland One School District's President with his lawyer wife on bond issue work. That wife is Tameika Isaac Devine, a Columbia City Councilwoman. Is anyone's nose twitching yet?

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