Monday, April 19, 2021

McKie still owes $51,800. Should she resign?

The South Carolina Ethics Commission has confirmed that Amelia McKie still owes $51,800 to it.

This means that she has not paid one penny ($0.01) of her debt. A judgment was filed in the Richland County Common Pleas Court on July 10, 2019 - almost two years ago! Not. One. Penny.

And this is a person allowed to sit on the school board in Richland 2 (even though she has never taken the oat of office legally). 

Why wouldn't the S.C. Department of Revenue be taking all steps to collect that $51,800? Is it possible that, if they think the debt is not collectable (or not collectable in full), then they just don't even try? Are there other creditors perched like crows on the clothes line, waiting for someone else to make the first move?

Should a trustee of the school board have impeccable credentials and credit worthiness? 

If McKie paid just $1,000/month toward her debt, it would take her 52 months. More than four years!

Or $500/month? Then it would take 104 months.

Of course, $500/month out of the trustee's monthly pay of $800 is a pretty big hit. But 104 months is a long time.

But no payments? Does that mean that she is never going to pay any of it? The DOR should get busy and grab whatever it can, while it can. And if an elected person (not an "official", since she isn't even a legal school board member) has a huge financial responsibility, maybe that person just needs to be honorable and resign. I see a bankruptcy down the line, don't you? Would that cause cancellation of any bond she has for the school district?

What's up, Amelia? Do you ever plan to pay any of your debt? What's your plan? Do you even have a plan?

Dissolve Richland 2 School Board?

Should the State of South Carolina Department of Education dissolve the Richland 2 School Board?

That idea came to mind as I read the article in  The State by Zak Koeske, published on April 18. Zak's article described the interest of the S.C. DOE in taking over the boards of low-performing school districts.

Here's why I think the S.C. DOE should be keeping a close eye on the Richland 2 School Board and why it should consider disbanding the school board of the Richland 2 School District.

Since November 13, 2018 the Richland 2 School Board has seated two women illegally. The two women have refused to take the oath of office legally; therefore, they are not legitimate members of the board.

The Board has condoned their illegitimacy for almost 2½ years! The remainder of the Board could have required them to take the oath of office legally. The remainder of the board (the five legal members) could have refused to allow the two women to be seated at the board until they took the oath of office legally. The legal members of the Board could have prohibited their attendance at executive sessions, could have prohibited their voting on board business including student discipline. The Board could have stopped paying them, stopped paying their expenses, stopped allowing them to represent the board. The Board could have elected one of the legitimate members as the District's representative to the South Carolina School Boards Association (but it didn't).

But the legal members of the Board did nothing.

Therefore, they are culpable and responsible for failing to act. They are failing in their duties and responsibilities to the taxpayers of the Richland 2 School District.

One or two of the legal board members may believe and agree that the two women do not belong on the board, but they are the minority of votes.

Who are the two women illegally on the board?

Amelia McKie (2018-2022)

Teresa Holmes (2018-2022)

To become legal members of the Board, all they have to do is take the oath of office.

Each did take an oath of office on November 13, 2018, but each took it before she was legally eligible to take it. Neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interest Report (SEI) with the South Carolina Ethics Commission. Each filed her SEI on December 4, 2018. On the December 4th date, McKie and Holmes first became eligible to take the oath of office.

According to South Carolina law, after you are elected, then you (1) file your SEI. Then you (2) take the oath of office, and then you (3) assume your office responsibilities. It's as easy as that. 1-2-3. 

You can't do 2-3-1. At least, legally you cannot.

Next time you see McKie or Holmes, ask her when she is going to take the oath of office legally.

Each is usurping public office. This is a serious legal offense in the State of South Carolina. 

Here's what they will tell you.

- "I am a legal board member." They are not.

- "I haven't done anything wrong." That's not true.

- "The Ethics Commission says I'm a legal board member." No, it hasn't. 

- "Nobody told me about that." - Surely, two people running for office should be able to read the rules for taking office.

The School Board refuses to address this issue in public session. The District takes a "holier than thou" position that it does not have to explain itself. Kind of reminds me of Nixon's statement, "Trust me. I am not a crook."

What say you? Should McKie and Holmes be blocked from continuing to act like School Board members until they take the oath of office?

As soon as they do take the oath, the School Board will then have to review every vote taken on and after November 13, 2018. The votes of McKie and Holmes will have to be removed. Some decisions will change. A 4-3 (passing) vote that includes McKie and Holmes voting For, will change to a 2-3 vote (failing). Some board meetings will not have a quorum (5 legal members) and business taken care of will be invalidated.