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SC Rural School District Scandal Grows




Last week FITS posted on a major scandal enveloping Colleton County, S.C. – a rural region of the Palmetto State’s Lowcountry home to all sorts of governmental incompetence and corruption.

This scandal? It’s a doozy … even by South Carolina standards.

The drama began with the March 2014 firing of corrupt Colleton school superintendent of education Leila Williams, who was caught red-handed misusing public funds for personal purposes and hiring felons. Williams was also at the center of a massive grade tampering scandal – and the S.C. Department of Education has unearthed additional charges against her since her dismissal (which came with a $130,000 severance package).

Anyway, because Williams is black the local NAACP is treating her firing as racist – and the local NAACP leader vowed that the school board members who ousted her would be “out of office next election.”

That wasn’t idle talk …

S.C. Sen. Clementa Pinckney – who is no stranger to enabling corrupt black bureaucrats in failing government-run school districts – snuck a bill through the S.C. General Assembly redrawing district lines in Colleton County. Pinckney’s bill gerrymanders these districts in effort to make it exponentially harder for Williams’ opponents to win reelection to the school board this year.

“Pinckney’s naked act of political retribution is the latest example of a troubling trend of corruption in South Carolina,” we wrote. “Not content to manipulate and abuse budgetary or legislative processes, corrupt Palmetto politicians are now going straight to the ballot box – abusing and manipulating the sanctity of the democratic process itself in an effort to achieve their political ends.”

Indeed …

Pinckney told reporter Drew Tripp – who broke this story for Colleton Today – that he did not make any specific requests to the S.C. Budget and Control Board (SCBCB)’s Office of Research and Statistics regarding the manipulated district lines. A staffer at the agency confirmed Pinckney’s statements, telling the paper the new boundaries – which make short, unexplained jumps across natural boundaries – were not issued at Pinckney’s request and that any adverse political impact on current officeholders was “purely coincidental.”

Apparently both were lying …

According to reporter Amanda Kerr of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, the director of the SCBCB’s Office of Research and Statistics acknowledges he “received specific instructions from Pinckney on how to draw the lines.”

“We knew what the goal was when it was done,” he said.

Wow …

Federal officials are already probing one of the county school systems effectively controlled by Pinckney. Looks like they should add Colleton County to the list …