Wednesday, August 19, 2020

What Does Richland Two's Lawyer Say?

Since February 2019 I have been complaining to the Richland 2 School Board that it has two women on the board illegally. A few other community members also complained.

Amelia McKie and Teresa Holmes were elected on November 6, 2018. They took the oath of office on November 13, 2018 and began serving.

The problem?

While they were duly elected and "qualified" to serve, they were not "eligible" to take the oath of office on November 13, 2018 or to begin serving.

Why not?

Neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) with the S.C. Ethics Commission.

What does the law say?

"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."  [emphasis added]

Crystal clear; right? First you file the SEI. Then you take the oath of office. Then you begin serviing.

Surely, by now the Board has gotten an opinion from the attorney for the School District. What did she say?

There is only one thing she could say. "Read the law. That is what the law says."

An attorney will not tell you whether you can break a law. An attorney will only tell you what the consequences are of breaking a law. 

Is there anything unclear about the law?

What part of the law do trustees-elect McKie and Holmes not understand? Next time you see them, ask them.