Monday, July 4, 2022

Open Letter to board chair James Manning

To Richland 2 board chair James Manning:

One of your first acts as Board Chair for the School Year 2022-2023 should be to require Teresa Holmes and Amelia McKie to take the oath-of-office and become legitimate members of the Richland 2 school board.

This issue was first raised during public participation at a school board meeting in about February 2019. The board was informed that the oath-of-office administered to Holmes and McKie on November 13, 2018 was done so THREE full weeks before they first became eligible to take it.

That is because neither Holmes nor McKie had filed her Statement of Economic Interests report (SEI) with the South Carolina Ethics Commission. They filed the SEIs on December 4, 2018. Neither has taken the oath-of-office since that date.

Had the board required Holmes and McKie to take the oath-of-office in February 2019, the District would have needed to correct the votes on motions only back for three months. All votes of Holmes and McKie should have been removed. Many results of voting on motions would have changed.

The problem of wrongful voting has continued now for more than 3½ years. The effort required now to correct votes and results is massive.

With respect to honesty, integrity, responsibility, transparency, and South Carolina law, there should be no further delay in correcting this legal nightmare.

The board has functioned with only five legitimate members since November 13, 2018. McKie's term as board chair ended on November 13, 2018, and a new board chair should have been elected for the balance of the 2018-2019 school year.

Holmes and McKie should not have been nominated for, or elected to, officer positions on the board. Holmes and McKie should not have been elected as board officers on June 29, 2021, and they should not have been elected as board officers again on June 28, 2022.

S.C. Code of Laws Section 8-13-1110 reads, in part,

Disclosure of Economic Interests

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.

Will you correct this error now?