Statement read by Berkeley County School Board Vice Chair Shannon Lee on Tuesday:
I want to make a statement about the action the board took this evening. But first, I want to make a very brief statement about the misdemeanor charge recently filed against a district employee. Let me be very clear. We take this charge very seriously and we will continue to cooperate fully with any and all government agencies investigating the activities of the district and its employees. That said, I think it is worth remembering a core principle of our nation's system of justice: that each of us is innocent until proven guilty.
As you know, by law, the district has an obligation to provide legal representation to its employees, when they are acting in good faith in the course of their employment.
Our board met today to discuss whether, in light of the misdemeanor charge recently filed last week, the district has a continuing statutory obligation to provide legal representation to Ms. Kovach.
This is a very complex and serious issue. We want to be certain that it is resolved responsibly, authoritatively, and fairly. And so the board has authorized its chairman to engage former Circuit Court Judge Vic Rawl to conduct a hearing on this issue. His charge will be to determine whether the facts at this point, based on the information available to the board, suggest that Ms. Kovach was indeed acting in good faith and in the course of her employment, and - if so - whether last week's indictment precludes the district from providing her with legal representation.
We expect to receive a report and recommendation to the board from Judge Rawl as soon as practical.
This is all I can say about this matter at this time. We believe it is our responsibility to act with the benefit of sound knowledge, wise counsel and fair judgment.