SLED confirms Berkeley schools investigation
The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed today that it is investigating the Berkeley County School Board for possible ethics violations during the district’s school improvement referendum campaign last year.
“It turns out, yes, we are investigating,” SLED spokesman Thom Berry said today.
Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh requested an investigation from SLED chief Mark Keel and state Ethics Commission Executive Director Herbert R. Hayden Jr. on Jan. 17.
The accusations are centered on the district’s Yes 4 Schools campaign, which asked voters to approve $198 million in general obligation bonds to build five new schools and renovate 29 others, mainly to ease overcrowding.
The district maintains the campaign was run by volunteers, but Daniel Island lawyer Josh Whitley raised questions in October about whether the district was using its own resources to produce fliers and videos and to promote the campaign to district employees and the community.
The district released a statement Monday saying that it was cooperating with the investigation but had no further comment.
Criminal violations are punishable of a fine of up to $5,000 or a year in jail.
Read more in upcoming editions of The Post and Courier.