Thursday, March 31, 2022

S.188 - Call Now

S.C. Senate Bill S.188 is a very important bill that is dying a painful death in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This bill would prevent Amelia McKie from running for re-election in November 2022 because of her $57,100 debt to the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

Call S.C.Sen. Greg Hembree at (803) 212-6350 and ask him to do everything he can to move this bill now. Ask him what you can do. (I've emailed him twice and already called him today.) The bill has been stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee since January 21, 2021.

It is preposterous that an elected officioal can owe that amount of money, not be paying on it in substantial amounts, and be allowed to remain in office. The Ethics Commission filed a judgment against McKie in the Richland County Common Pleas Court on July 10, 2019, and the S.C. Dept. of Revenue is supposed to collect it. 

Does anyone else wonder why the S.C. Ethics Commission is not pressing for collection?

I doubt it will do much good to call McKie's friend, Sen. Mia McLeod, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. She ought to be willing to favor such a bill, but she won't return any phone calls to me or reply to my emails.

R2 Board Still Has Two Illegitimate Members

Why has the Richland 2 school board never caused the problem of board illegitimacy to be resolved?

The problem? The Richland 2 School Board has two women on it who are not legitimate members. Why aren't they? They have never taken the oath-of-office legally.

Who are they? Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie.

On November 6, 2018 Holmes was elected to the Board and McKie was re-elected. A board meeting was held on November 13, 2018, and the oath-of-office was administered to them on that date (Nov. 13).

However, neither had filed her Statement of Economic Interests Report (SEI) with the South Carolina Ethics Commission! Because neither had filed the SEI by November 13th, neither was eligible to take the oath-of-office on that date. The oath they did take was only "practice"; it has no legal effect.

According to State law (Section 8-13-1110(A)) one must file the SEI before taking the oath-of-office.

The Voice of Blythewood newspaper blew the whistle on them, and both Holmes and McKie filed SEIs on December 4, 2018.

On December 4, 2018, Holmes and McKie first became eligible to take the oath-of-office, but they have never done so.

But Richland 2 has allowed them to serve and to continue to serve, even serving as officers of the board.

I have heard that the District considers that merely a "technicality". It is not. 

Their serving is a violation of law. Holmes and McKie are usurping public office. Richland 2 has been paying them a stipend (now, a per diem) for meetings and paying handsomely for expenses each year.

All Holmes and McKie have to do to become legal board members is take the oath-of-office. They have been eligible to take it since December 4, 2018. 

Every board vote they have participated in since November 13, 2018 needs to be corrected. Many decisions will change, when their votes are removed. Instead of 3-4 (Fail), the votes will become 3-2 (Approve).

Every form, document, resolution signed by them needs to be re-done. Even Bond Issue legal documents.

All the money paid to them by the District needs to be refunded to Richland 2.

This should happen before they leave office in November 2022. But, if it doesn't happen before, then it should happen after, even when they are no longer in office.

Open Letter to Richland 2 Board & Supt.

The following email has been sent today to the Richland 2 School Board and the superintendent about the BeSMART program. Agendas for board meetings are often planned on the Thursday prior to a board meeting.

Members of the Board, trustees-elect Holmes and McKie, and Supt. Davis,

On December 9, 2021 Richland 2 launched, with great fanfare, the BeSMART initiative on ending gun-violence in Richland 2 schools.

On March 7, 2022 14-year-old Trevion Fuller, a Blythewood Academy student from Richland Northeast High School, was shot to death about two blocks north of RNE.

A 16-year-old was arrested that same night, and three additional juveniles have been arrested. How many of them were RNE students?

To my knowledge, BeSMART has not been mentioned at a board meeting since December 9th.

I request an update to the Board and to the Public at the April 7, 2022 Regular Board Meeting or the following meeting. Please add this item to the agenda.


Gus Philpott