S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s law enforcement agency is reportedly sitting on a major scandal involving the widespread misappropriation of public funds in one of the Palmetto State’s poorest, most underperforming school districts.
According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – part of Haley’s cabinet – was provided with a detailed financial audit revealing gross fiscal mismanagement and corruption in the Jasper County S.C. school district months ago.
What has SLED done with the audit?
According to our sources, “nothing.”
Sound familiar? It should. In early 2012 SLED received evidence of a massive video poker operation in Lexington County, S.C. – information it sat on for several months.
In the Jasper County case, FITS is told the key player is superintendent Vashti K. Washington, who has presided over the district since 2010.
“She makes $200,000 a year, probably steals another $300,000 a year,” one source told us.
Another source said Washington is so corrupt “her kickbacks have kickbacks.”
Another key player in the scam? S.C. Sen. Clementa Pinckney (D-Jasper), who until recently controlled the county’s legislative delegation, its election commission and its majority-black school district.
According to our sources Pinckney has “several kickbacks that come to him through the district.” He’s also reportedly secured employment for a woman said to be “directly related” to him.
Wait … hmmmmm.
Anyway, two local officials have been trying to stop the corruption in the district for years – to no avail. One of them is a former black school board member named Barbara Clarke who currently serves on Jasper county council. Meanwhile Randy Horton – the only white member of the board – has also been trying to get to the bottom of things.
According to our sources, Horton has repeatedly been denied financial information from the district that he was entitled to as a board member. In fact district leaders refused to provide Horton with information even after he submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
For his efforts, Horton has been labeled as a racist. So have several white Republican lawmakers in the area who became aware of the corruption and tried to request information on the district’s finances.
“Anyone who has sought to find out the truth about what is going on in Jasper has been accused of being a racist,” one source tells us.
At some point, sources tell FITS the S.C. Department of Education (SCDOE) got involved. In fact SCDOE may have been the entity which conducted the audit.
FITS has submitted FOIA requests to both SLED and the SCDOE seeking a copy of the audit and any other information related to the district.
Jasper County’s government-run schools have some of the worst scores on South Carolina’s dumbed-down “accountability” tests. They also have the lowest scores in the state on federally administered tests. In short, they are a case study of the pressing need to bring market-based accountability to the Palmetto State’s failed government-run system.
During a visit to Jasper County this week, S.C. Superintendent of Education Mick Zais washed his hands of the failing district.
“What happens in Jasper County depends on what happens in the community, and if the community and its citizens decide that something needs to change and actually makes that change,” he told reporter Sarah Bowman of The (Hilton Head) Island Packet.
SLED sitting on Bobby Harrell the Lexington Ring, etc., what are they good for, nothing, absolutely nothing!!
Anyone reporting this other than Fitsnews? If so, I might question it.
SLED will go out of their way to investigate and destroy someone, if they are asked to do so by a well placed politician or high ranking judge. Particularly if they feel that politician or judge will return the favor and help Keel and former Chief Stewart with their agenda.
There was a high profile politician and his paramours divorce, where this took place.
We need a total house cleaning in the State and the only way for this to take place is at the ballot box.
We need to start with Haley and go right down the line. Then repeat the process every few years!
SLED and the Gambling Ring are too wired into the State’s Royalty!
Sheriff Metts, Bob Peeler, Tim James, Sen Knotts, Jean Toal are all too close to this illegal activity and their friends relatives, etc for anything to come of their illegal, immoral and unethical activity!
Remember, Danny Frazier’s secretly recorded audio tape claimed to have Law Enforcement on “LOCK DOWN”!? He raised money for Haley, was a reserve Police officer (hired by West Columbia, Lex. Sheriff’s Dept, close friends and associate of Peeler). Remember the affidavitt, sex parties, prostitutes, cocain, protected by Law Enforcement! Our Attorney General Alan Wilson (highest ranking Law Enforcement in the State) lived right up the street from Peeler and Frazier and hunted with Frazier on his farm. Remember the CLOSE association of Sen Knotts and Cong. Joe Wilson?
The Ring is wired into the State’s self proclaimed Royalty and protected by the same.
Those parties with alleged drug use, prostitutes and sex for all, wonderful to have on video? How many elected officials or people in low places, in high office would want video seen? Easy to see how, with their connections and possible tapes anything is possible for the Ring and it’s associates!
Remember the houses of prostitution busted by Lex. Sheriff’s Dept and allegedly swept under the rug!
Same old corruption which has been the norm for years.
Amazing what you can get someone, in an official capacity, to do if you have them in a compromising position (drugs or sex act) on a video recording?
It took Sic Willie some dozen paragraphs to get to his “point”. If anything is “government-run” it is automatically “failed”, “corrupt”, etc. Why there has NEVER been any market-run enterprises that have been corrupt, has there?
Barak Obama is responsible for this.
30% of republicans believe he was responsible for,Katrina.
Wasn’t that poll just in Louisiana?
The same people who put Bobby Jindal where he is today?
SLED and EDUCATION don’t belong in the same ‘headline’.Jasper County?
…Lindsey Graham said a nuke probably from Iran will hit Charleston if military strike in Syria is not passed.
everyone in greenwood knows where money at sheriffs department went but sled they have been investigating for six months another coverup
I was thinking the exact same thing! Some of the cops I’ve talked to say that SLED is “working on it” but they’ve had it since February for Pete’s sake! And it was also NOT a big mystery about who stole the quarter million bucks. What can take 7 months, unless they are setting the sheriff up for a nice soft landing? The state grand jury can only be so backed up. That was one excuse I got from a fellow retiree in Columbia. Give us a break. I hope they get it done.
SLED head was appointed by Nikki, after her husband was on the selection committee. The former SLED head didn’t follow up a request to hire 2 deputies that helped Nikki get elected. The fact that SLED doesn’t investigate Jasper probably has something to do with other legislators. All are protecting each other.
Indictments at SLED are a product of political pressure from the powerful and not a product of legitimate investigation and facts. Just ask Jean Toal.
Why is this a surprise?
SLED does no actual enforcing of the laws as they apply to their buddies. SLED only fully investigates and arrests commoners. The self-appointed elite will NEVER be held accountable by the state law enforcement division.
What happened to the lexington ring? Or, more recently, what happened to the 750 poker machines found in Larry Pyle’s warehouse in Swansea? NO criminal charges filed for the largest poker machine bust in SC history.?.?. Not one single followup article by ANY of the mainstream media outlets. The story, just like the lexington ring of 2012, has been buried by SLED and corrupt officials. This story will be buried too.
People can’t fathom the depth of corruption in this state. When one boob is bounced by the electorate, or fired for malfeasance, a new one takes their place and the back scratching continues.
The race component described in this story exists in Richland district one also. Any white people who try to point out corruption are immediately branded as racist by the majority black corrupt officials. It isn’t a race issue, it’s a corruption issue.
Dirty bastards are what they are. Whether they be SLED agents, gambling ring criminals, race baiting school administrators, back scratching public officials, or just filthy business hacks, they will never change.
Unfortunately for all us, they control ALL of the positions of power in our beautiful state.
All you have to do is open your eyes and you will see.
True. State corruption is systemic deeply rooted in a corrupt culture under which rule of law is rule is disdained. We citizens have command responsibility to disrupt this culture. Gov is an organization.
Sound basic principles (cause and effect) of process design, operational, program, and neccessarily following org behavior, apply.
Citizens have the authority and power to fight corruption. Using disruptive innovation. We’re not helpless. It’s not too big of a problem. Entire industries have been changed by disruptive innovation, from the small bottoms up. We can use it to change gov culture. But we have to act. Locally. small market. Face to face with one corrupt official at a time.
Fits mentions an audit. What about subpenas? Has the State of SC truly investigated and used its powers or is it just another whitewash?
“…gross fiscal mismanagement and corruption…” think SCDEW.
Do believe this site has promoted position that Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers
If the good people of Jasper County want a bunch of cockroaches to steal them blind and subject their kids to a Third World environment then so be it
Look around the State. Is there anywhere in South Carolina where taxpayers are not being financially sodomized 24/7 by elected and appointed officials who get re-elected year in year out:
Horry County Chamber of Commerce
Fairfield County Council
Richland County Election Commission
Sumter School Board
Mayor of Columbia
Speaker of the House
State Retirement Investment Commission
Earlier a frequent poster to this site commented what the hell, the cockroaches are winning, why fight on
Don’t really have a good answer but at this point when the one Office, Governor’s Office, which should be taking the moral and ethical high road is just as damn corrupt as Jasper County then perhaps we all are as doomed as the ant crawling up an elephant’s leg with thoughts of getting a little out of town strange
Then on the other hand fuck’em, fuck’em all till they pry my cold dead hands off the keyboard
Not sure what “elected and appointed officials” are so elected and appointed to the Horry Co. Chamber and the Kershaw Hospital.
Do believe that there is ample information to tie the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce(edited above) to tax dollars to elected officials
Do believe that Kershaw County Council on more than one occasion has funneled tax dollars to Kershaw Hospital with little or no audit as to how funds have been spent
The hand of one is the hand of all
Don’t disagree with your explanation.
You have got to be kidding me.
“If the good people of Jasper County want a bunch of cockroaches to steal them blind and subject their kids to a Third World environment then so be it”
Most of the residents here don’t realize that they’re being preyed upon by those who are in power. They don’t have the educational background to know anything other than what they’re told.
Never mind that the kids don’t get school books within the first week of school. Oh, no. It’s the third week, and my kid just got his books TODAY (Friday) – or that the administration does not know which classroom a child is in after three weeks (from a parent met outside of Ridgeland Elementary, who waited for more than 45 minutes for their 1st grader to be found this afternoon….).
That doesn’t matter here, for some reason.
I BLAME THE CHURCHES AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
Most of Jasper County has not gotten this information because it’s not been reported.
And when it HAS been reported, the information is passed off as being “racism”.
Internet is still not widespread here because it’s expensive, and this is a poor county.
The newspaper in the county was not (AND IS NOT) reporting anything other than what the School District gives out for press releases.
Questions are NOT welcomed by the School District. PERIOD. “The District refused to comment” is pretty common here….
We’re talking about a county that is STILL stuck in the early 60’s, when it comes to race. It’s horrible, and it HAS TO STOP.
Never has a white republican elected official help garner employment for a friend or relative. Never!
You are smoking and inhaling some serious $hit!!!!!!
Yeah, Bobby Harrell did not get that cushy no-show lottery job for his wife’s scorned friend (who, by the way, it is said might also be Bobby’s “friend”). Things about Bobby have sure gone quiet lately too…. wonder what might be in all the testimonies and such about the murder-for-hire plot….
Bull Shit! They are all corrupt and self serving, Repubs and Demos.
But, I understand your sarcasm.
Good idea. The “everybody does it” defense. It’s all we have.
I am going to guess this is sarcasm.
How can one citizen make a difference? IN YOUR BACK YARD. Learn disruptive innovation, principles modified for gov org. Local and state corruption, same root cause!!!! Like every skill, start small learn hone get strong take on more.
Analysis on South Carolina law enforcement systemic organizational malfunction –
staffing process, statutes, district by district comparison of solicitor office funding, Crony Commission of Prosecution Coordination disbursed funding of ‘grants’ for their buddies, correspondence from SLED (coming…need coffee!!!!) etc.Report includes steps citizens can take to deliberately disturb the root cause of corruption.
Here – http://southcarolinacitizenswatch.com/site/2013/09/02/sc-law-enforcement-staffing-feeding-the-root-of-sc-corruption/
Still working out the bugs on the website tools. Yah, I know the graphics need help (shifty and 2big2fall, you there???) and trying to manage this disqus thing on my site….Where’s that stupid header code!! Arrrgh…..
Dear Kat Fay……..
If you want citizens to take you seriously then you must use your REAL NAME…!!
We understand your concern with law enforcement corruption…but ….you need some serious pointers on how to fight your battle….!
Here is one point for free………
1) Your website design should be totally different so that FITSNEWS can feed off of it on a daily “Chart”..! So, consider this, How is this state broken down and how much GAS is consumed by each Law enforcement department and WHO do they pay for it. You start tracking that and any “Chief” will feel his ballz start to squeeze as he gets your daily updates pushed to his EMAIL account. The email account is very useful in a court of LAW.
A comprehensible comment. Thanks for the input. It is my real name.
PS shortened. Katrina is full first name
Hey there, are you the “katlaurenscounty” who has been missing from this site? Reveal yourself!
I fess! The one and only (some are very glad of that I”m sure!!). Mentioned you in my post above, referencing your delightful pics you used to post. Finally got my blog done. Of course I’m changing it already. Most of the time I just read for nuggets of info, but I can’t restrain myself when the helpless whining gets too loud. Like a bunch of old ladies gossiping heavens protect us helpless victims from the big bad powerful crooks…..Sheesshh (No I am not an old lady thank you very much!!!! According to me and hubby. Who will tell me whatever i tell him to say as any husband knows…if mama aint’ happy, ain’t nobody happy…)
Anyway shifty nice catching up
Hooray! Hooray! —-check in on this site from time to time, ’cause I’ve been missing your chatter………
will do friend! thanks for your kind words, as always, your posts are refreshing. chat with you again some time…
Wiki: “Historically, in contrast to neighboring Beaufort County, Jasper was one of the poorest counties in the state. Recent development from 2000 onwards has given the county new residents, expanded business opportunities, and a wealthier
What can you tell us about the “new residents……..wealthier tax base” —- sounds like a statement from the CofC
“….SOURCES: SLED SITTING ON MAJOR PUBLIC EDUCATION SCANDAL…??”
it should read…..
“….SOURCES: FitsNews SITTING ON MAJOR “Winning WAR Strategy” EDUCATION SCANDAL…!!!)
Ya know Mr. Folks….do ya think anyone reading this article screams back at you “Well Sic Willie when are you going to get Jasper County Workers to submit the audit information to this website so it can be divulged publicly …??”
I guess if Bradley Manning had called you and wanted you to publish some documents that you would have turned him down too (Just like those newspapers did)…!! Do you not think that someone would have listened at SLED if you had that Audit documentation and started a SLOW Daily DRIP.
Wil Folks….do you want this website to be relevant…? You are either a PLAYER or you are NOT..!! Which is it….?
Bradley or Chelsea?
BRAVO…..(clap, clap, clap) BRAVO…..!!
You get a standing ovation for that info retort…!!
We wonder just how many Jasper County workers are named Chelsea to boot….!!!
CNSYD……….keep it up….
this is the reason i love you FITS. thanks for this.
Ya know Mr. Folks……have you even tried to do a FACEBOOK search for the Sheriff of Jasper County…?
He does not seem to have social transparency at all..?
So how does someone send him a message without going down to the Sheriffs office or calling him..?
Are the telephone conversations to his office recorded so they can be used in a court of LAW..?
How would your website comment section be used to TALK to him and track his responses to be used in a court of LAW..?
How does taxpayers use the LAW against this Sheriff to get him to do an investigation..?
Mick Zais is useless.
He was a disaster at Newberry. What do you expect ?
Some disaster, he doubled enrollment, doubled the endowment added new courses and facilities without leaving the school awash in debt – yep, total disaster…
And, he is not very smart. He “picked” Scott English as his Chief of Staff. This is the same Scott English who ranted about overpaid & incompetent state employees when he worked for Governor Sanford. Now he is one – making $116,681 annually not counting benefits.
You left out yet another SCGOP hack Jay Ragley as his nasty spokeman.
Last time I looked, he was making $70,000+.
So you’re saying that Jay Ragley, as the spokesman for the SCBOE, is making LESS money than the superintendent of the Jasper County School District…. And you have the gall to call him “nasty”…. Wow….
Dear Gregory B. Jenkins………..we realize that you are probably reading this news article while on the toilet and that you had better go ahead and wipe now before reading any more…!!
Mr. Jenkins, considering that Nancy Mace is running against Senator Lindsey Graham in an upcoming election, what type of soft questions do you think will be answered concerning education to avoid discussing the Syrian WAR..?
Well Mr Jenkins……………..what type of FUEL is used in your SQUAD cars and SCHOOL Transportation that directly impacts the OIL Pipelines being fought over in Syria..? What percentage of county taxes is used to PAY for FOREIGN gas and Diesel that is being used to fund a ….WAR..?
Do you think Nancy Mace can find some fine students at South Carolina State University to do a “study” on certain electronic receipts..? DO you think there is a GRANT for that somewhere in DC..?
Mr Jenkins…….god help you….
zoomie, it’s time for a trip back to the hospital. Now.
We wonder what type of fuel is used in Jasper County ambulances and EMS trucks that help FUND the rebels in Syria..?
We wonder where those receipts are publicly posted so taxpayers can see WHO is getting paid for the fuel…?
Great comment ……”Nit-ster”…!
zoomie, I wish that every county + school buses in the state would do like Pickens County and convert to cooking grease biodiesel.
How ’bout you?
It would really teach kids about the OIL that their fries are cooked in….
My husband and I took a ride down Hwy. 321 towards Savannah a couple of weeks ago. We immediately knew when we got to Jasper County. We were both shocked at how poor those people are and the conditions most of them are living in. Then we saw a couple of schools. I nearly cried at how one was falling apart. The metal signs, the name of the school on the front, and breezeway poles were completely rusted, the concrete walkways were cracked and broken, no landscaping, and absolutely no signs of upkeep whatsoever. That was Ridgeland Elementary School. These people should be ASHAMED of themselves for making children attend a school that, frankly, looks abandoned. We wouldn’t have known it was still operational if it wasn’t for the bus sitting out front. And now, I’m reading this story, which has made me even angrier than I was before. And the head of the district makes $200,000 per year??? This is SHAMEFUL!!!
That school isn’t operational. New schools were built about 6 years ago in both Ridgeland and Hardeeville. Unfortunately, the students have no respect and those buildings don’t look as great as they should. But regardless, the RES you saw isn’t a place students attend.
Whew! That’s a relief! Thanks for the info.
Ridgeland Elementary was closed when the new buildings opened on Hwy 278 in 2007. The building has been empty – and neglected – since that time.
Thanks for letting me know. It just threw us off tremendously, when we saw a school bus that appears to be currently in operation, parked in the front of the old school.
What IS the problem with SLED?
THIS is the ‘accountability’ that Brad Warthen and The State and FITSNEWS and Nikki Haley and Vincent Sheheen said would come with government ‘reorganization’ and the cabinet system ???
Public Education Scandal? You are turning more and more into Faux News lite everyday. This may be a scandal, but everybody has their bad eggs. I’m sure there are plenty of Private Education Scandals out there by this standard. Do you think no one working for a private school has ever embezzled money. Think again. After all SC does have the worst in the nation private schools.
“After all SC does have the worst in the nation private schools.”
What . . . what? You mean that all those Bobby E. Lee Resegregation Academies & Bible Schools aren’t educating our next generation of doctors, scientists, and engineers? Ah well, fortunately there are surpluses of the well-educated in less-developed eastern Europe, southern Asia, and South America.
SLED has sat on the audit that shows University of South Carolina Upstate bought over $5 million dollars of office equipment from the board chair. They never do anything. This state corrupt.
Another FITS ‘scandal’. SIgh. I’ll bet nothing comes out of this one either.
The superintendent and all but one member of the Jasper County School Board are playing the RACE CARD to the hilt in this case. There was a meeting held by concerned parents this past Saturday in Ridgeland. The meeting was immediately called out as racist because it was called by the sole white member of the board – who cannot get a copy of the audit from the superintendent. There has not been this much tension in Jasper County between the races since 1964. I predict something tragic will have to happen before SLED moseys on down to look around, scratch their asses and ask how long before they can get in a deer hunt across the county line up at the Webb Center in Hampton County.
The Island Packet pointed out that that great friend of Mark and coverer upper of his line crossing , as well as demi-god to this site, Sen. Tom Davis represents Jasper County in the Senate:
“State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, who represents Jasper County and attended the rally, said he’s still familiarizing himself with the workings of the county.”
Read more here: http://www.islandpacket.com/2013/09/07/2671503/at-saturday-rally-parents-activists.html#storylink=cpy
How many YEARS has Tom Davis represented Jasper County that he chose NOT to be ‘familiarizing himself with the workings of the county”?
Oh, yeah, Tom would make a great governor or senator IF he decides to familiarize himself with the state rather than stupid ass Libertarian ideology.
Tom Davis’s district only covers a small portion of Jasper County and
was only recently expanded to it after re-districting efforts were
complete. I’ll give him a pass.
I am a mother and grandmother in Jasper county.. I will go to every news station inn sav. Ga. And SC to get to the bottom of this Sorry educational system in Jasper County… I have made this my mission….. The bullying with these children as well as some of the teachers has to STOP!!! I will go over heads to do what has to be accomplised for Our children and some of the Great teachers in our school system… Enough is Enough… I will stop this corruption with the board and the Superintendant… Stealing and being a bunch of thieves that all work together for sure!! I had to put my children in Private school.for.this same reason.. My granddaughter had to be taken out because she was being bullied….