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Looking for examples of government corruption in South Carolina? “Throw a rock in the air, you’ll hit someone guilty,” to borrow one of my favorite lines from Irish rocker Bono.
In Berkeley County, S.C., though, the prevailing corruption is especially insidious because it was foisted on citizens in the name of … wait for it … erasing corruption.
And it is now being perpetuated via a flagrantly unconstitutional attempt to strip the voters of Berkeley County of their right to choose who represents them.
Berkeley county councilman Josh Whitley – whose fleecing of local taxpayers has been documented at length by this news outlet – is at the center of the latest scandal, which involves a new state law pushed through the S.C. General Assembly by his ally, S.C. senator Larry Grooms.
That’s right … five school board members who were elected to four-year terms in November 2020 must now stand for reelection two years ahead of schedule.
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“I’m very concerned that there is a political agenda behind this,” one of those board members told reporter Raymond Owens of WCBD TV 2 (NBC – Charleston, S.C.) earlier this year. “I do believe they are trying to get us out.”
Why would Whitley want to do that?
As we have reported in the past, Whitley’s law firm has made hundreds of thousands of dollars off of the school district in this Lowcountry county – benefiting from a “shady symbiosis” with his former law partner, Mac McQuillin. Whitley serves on county council and handles legal work for the school board. Meanwhile, McQuillin serves on the school board and handles legal work for the county.
Convenient, isn’t it?
“Our elected officials are directing taxpayer dollars into each other’s pockets in the form of legal fees paid,” one resident complained to The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier in March of 2017. “While all of this may be perfectly legal, it gives the appearance of being perfectly unethical.”
In our video, we dig into this “shady symbiosis” with commentary from Tom Fernandez – a Berkeley County attorney who has been at the forefront of the fight against local corruption in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has many hats – including that San Jose Giants’ Pacific Coast League 75th Anniversary lid pictured above.
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