Monday, July 6, 2020

First Responsibility of Chair James Shadd

The very first responsibility of the newly-elected Chair of the Richland 2 School Board, James Shadd, should be to correct the serious deficiency in the number of legitimate board members.

The Richland 2 School Board is to have seven members. That's seven legal members. It has operated with five legal members since November 13, 2018.

Since November 13, 2018 two women have been present on the board as less-than-legitimate members of the board.

They are Trustees-elect only, but they are being allowed to serve as full-fledged members of the board. They are being paid as board members, and they receive benefits and perks as members, when they are not. The school district is improperly expending taxpayer funds for the compensation and benefits for them.

Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes were elected on November 6, 2018.
McKie and Holmes took the oath of office on November 13, 2018. Notarized documents confirm this. They entered upon official responsibilities on November 13 (attended the board meeting on that date).
McKie and Holmes had not filed their Statements of Economic Interests (SEI) with the S.C. Ethics Commission at the time they took the oath of office.
McKie and Holmes filed their SEIs on December 4, 2018.

South Carolina Code of Laws §8-13-1110A is explicit and is to be followed. Except the Trustees seem to think they are "special".

SECTION 8-13-1110. Persons required to file statement of economic interests.

(A) No public official, regardless of compensation, and no public member or public employee as designated in subsection (B) may take the oath of office or enter upon his official responsibilities unless he has filed a statement of economic interests in accordance with the provisions of this chapter with the appropriate supervisory office.

There is nothing whatsoever unclear about §8-13-1110(A).

First, you file your SEI.
Then you take the oath of office.

Not the other way around.

This is easily remedied. All McKie and Holmes have to do is raise their right hands and take the oath of office.

Integrity demands that McKie and Holmes step forward and do this on their own. If they don't?
Integrity demands that Shadd require them to do so.

Why has this not happened before now? There is a nasty little matter of "What about the gap between then and now?"

Must the District recover all the monies paid to and for McKie and Holmes?

Must the District go back to November 13, 2018 and correct all the votes by the board that were affected by votes of McKie and Holmes?

The S.C. Supreme Court should address why Richland 2 is allowing two women to usurp public office.

SECTION 15-63-60. Action against usurpers, for forfeiture of office or against persons acting as corporation.

An action may be brought by the Attorney General in the name of the State upon his own information or upon the complaint of any private party or by a private party interested on leave granted by a circuit judge against the parties offending in the following cases:

(1) When any person shall usurp, intrude into, or unlawfully hold or exercise any public office, civil or military, or any franchise within this State or any office in a corporation, created by the authority of this State;

Richland 2's Chair, James Shadd, is a lawyer. Lawyers can read and understand laws. His responsibility now is to act.