Friday, January 10, 2020

McKie's $51,750 Judgment - no payment!

On July 10, 2019, the South Carolina Ethics Commission filed a Judgment for $51,750 against Amelia McKie, Richland 2 School Board Trustee-Elect.

The Judgment resulted from a public Decision and Order that pertained to unfiled Statements of Economic Interests Reports and Campaign Disclosure Reports over several years, including 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The Judgment appears to be languishing in the Richland County Common Pleas Court, where Case Number 2019CP4003809 shows no activity other than the filing six months ago.

In a case such as this, the South Carolina Department of Revenue should be working on collecting the Judgment. As a debt to the State of South Carolina, the DOR could be utilizing the Setoff Debt and GEAR provisions to collect the full amount.

These provisions include "... garnishment of wages and state individual income tax refunds, use of tax liens, and levy of bank accounts". School Board Trustee income is W-2 income (wages).

Is the State proceeding with collection? Will the State garnish McKie's wages?

Has McKie made any payment? According to the S.C. Ethics Commission, no payment has been made.

Why not?

Richland 2 often refers to its being a "premier" school district with a "premier" school board. How can the board be a "premier" board, when a member (and former Board Chair) and now trustee-elect continues to owe $51,750 for violations of ethics laws?

Roll Call Needed

The Richland 2 School Board should change the way it starts meetings and take a roll call by name at the beginning of each meeting.

When the Board Chair calls the meeting to order, the first order of business should be to ask the Secretary to call the roll. The name of each board member should be called, followed by a verbal acknowledgement by that board member. Silence would indicate absence, which should be verbally acknowledged by the Secretary.

If five Board members are present, then the Secretary should inform the Chair that a quorum is present.

Why is this important step omitted by the Richland 2 School Board?

Amelia McKie was absent from the January 7th Special-Called Meeting. Perhaps it didn't matter, because she is not a legal member of the board, having never taken a legally-administered oath of office.

Teresa Holmes falls into the same category, because she too has never taken a legally-administered oath of office.

Five legal board members were present at the January 7th meeting, constituting a quorum. But there have been meetings where one of those five has not been there.

If a board member is attending by telephone, that should be announced at the beginning of the meeting. Then it is imperative that all board members must be able to hear and be heard. Dr. Elkins-Johnson attended by phone recently, and no mention of that was made. She could not be heard throughout the room.

Was she able to hear everything that was said by other members?

It would probably be hard for her to say that she heard everything. She wouldn't know what she didn't hear. Would she?

Jan..14 Agenda published

The Agenda for the January 14 2020 Regular Meeting of the School Board has now been published and can be viewed online on the District's website.

The Board will be asked to approve to a Special Obligation Bond Resolution. As of today, Friday, January 10, 2019, 8:39AM there is no link from the Agenda to that Resolution.

So, here we go again, folks. Taxpayers are being kept in the dark. What is Richland 2 up to, by withholding the content of the Resolution?

Did the Board members receive the Resolution in advance?

The Board will also be asked to approve 31 Policy Revisions.

Want to know more about those? Watch the video-recording of the lengthy Special-Called Board Meeting that was held on January 7. If you wish to comment on any of those revisions, show up at the January 14 meeting and have your say.