Gov. McMaster requests investigation into Richland School District Two
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina’s governor is requesting an investigation into the Richland School District Two by the Inspector General.
In a letter, Governor Henry McMaster said his offices have received complaints from parents and other members of the community about, “organizational or institutional dysfunction or other mismanagement by Richland Two’s elected and appointed leadership.”
Complaints have also included claims that the issues have, “negatively impacted the district’s ability to conduct, manage, and oversee its fiscal affairs in an appropriate and effective manner.”
McMaster also requested Inspector General Brian Lamkin to investigate, “malfeasance, misfeasance, chronic unexcused absenteeism, conflicts of interest, misconduct in office, or persistent neglect of duty in office...” in the board of trustees. This information will be used to help the governor determine if it warrants the removal of board members.
The district issued a response to McMaster’s request that was provided to parents and the public,
“Richland School District Two administrators contacted State Inspector General Brian Lamkin on June 23, 2022, to follow up on a report that the Governor had submitted a formal request to Mr. Lamkin to conduct an investigation, review and analysis of Richland Two. In speaking with Mr. Lamkin, we pledged our full cooperation with the investigation.
As demonstrated in our recent successful accreditation process and our annual financial audits, our district approaches any and all reviews with a strong commitment to transparency and to our Core Values of Learning, Character, Community and Joy.”
The letter comes after a verbal altercation in April of this year involving board members during a meeting. A recording of the incident included an expletive laden exchange and threats, “I will f--- you up.”
An apology was later issued by board member Lashonda McFadden,
“My apologies to the community because my behavior is a bad representation of this district as an elected official and as an adult there is really no excuse for my behavior this is not a reflection of my character but I found the limit of my breaking point.”
McFadden turned herself in to investigators with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) after a warrant was issued for her arrest. She was later released on bond.
The district has also faced previous issues of potential misconduct. In January, RCSD became involved in the district’s affairs after an verbal altercation involving the superintendent, his wife, and three people attending the meeting during a meeting. No charges were filed in that investigation.
We have embedded the entirety of the letter below.
New officers were elected during the Tuesday, June 28 meeting. James Manning is the new M.A.T., Chair; Amelia McKie is the new Vice Chair; and Dr. Teresa Holmes is the new Secretary. Each officer will serve a one-year term.
According to Policy BD, board officers are elected annually at the last board meeting in June during the last order of business.
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