After Tuesday night's board meeting I submitted a new FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request to Richland 2 for copies of the most-recent oath of office taken by Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie.
Previously, the District provided me with copies of the oath of office administered on November 13, 2018.
Have they ever taken the oath of office after December 4, 2018?
More than once, I requested the District to inform me of any administration of the oath after December 4, 2018 to McKie and Holmes, and I have never been so informed.
There are several problems with the oath that was administered on November 13, 2018.
McKie and Holmes were not eligible to take the oath on November 13, 2018. Neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interests Report (SEI) with the South Carolina Ethics Commission. That SEI must be filed before a newly-elected (or re-elected) person can take the oath and assume the duties of the office.
They repeated the words of the oath on November 13, 2018, but those words had, and have, no legal effect. The Oath form was notarized, and it is meaningless - legally. Presumably, it was submitted to the State of South Carolina, as required. Again, all meaningless.
Another reason the oath on November 13, 2018 is meaningless is that the November 6, 2018 election of McKie and Holmes had not yet been certified by the Richland County Board of Elections. That certification happened on November 9, 2018. The earliest that McKie and Holmes could have legally taken the oath (if they had already filed their SEIs (which they hadn't)) was November 16, 2018.
The District had been swearing in new trustees improperly (early, before the election was certified) for about ten years. They'd still be doing so, if I hadn't called their attention to the law.
Why is this a big deal?
It was bad enough that McKie and Holmes were allowed to sit at the board and participate in board decisions by voting. And drawing a Trustee's salary and benefits.
But now Holmes and McKie are officers of the board.
If you aren't a legal board member, you can't be a legal board officer.
If they haven't taken the oath of office since December 4, 2018, they should be removed. All monies paid to or for them should be recovered by the District. All board decisions swayed by their votes should be reviewed and changed to include only votes by legal board members.
I'll let you know how the District responds to my FOIA Request.