Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell is investigating whether he needs to resign his state government post before taking the president's job at the College of Charleston.
McConnell said in an interview Wednesday that he is still trying to gain an understanding about whether there would be a conflict of interest for him to hold both the job of lieutenant governor and president of the College of Charleston.
McConnell was selected Saturday by the Board of Trustees to be the College's next leader, a job he is expected to officially start around July 1.
The lieutenant governor's office is a mostly powerless, part-time position that rules on procedural matters in the Senate and oversees the Office on Aging. The lieutenant governor has little to do once the legislative session ends in June and the position is up for re-election in November. A new lieutenant governor would take office in January.
The lieutenant governor's office has remained vacant for long periods six times since 1879, according to state records.
Sen. John Courson, R-Columbia, is next in line for lieutenant governor since he is the Senate's president pro tempore. He could take over the role if McConnell steps down, but he has said that he will not do so and wants to keep his Senate seat and top leadership spot. He said he has consulted with constitutional scholars on the matter who say there is no mandate for him to step into the vacated position.
That's a very different stance from the one McConnell took when he stepped into the role of lieutenant governor after the resignation of Lt. Gov. Ken Ard over ethics violations.
Then, McConnell felt it was his constitutional duty to give up his Senate seat and leadership position to fulfill his current role.
Courson has suggested that McConnell could serve temporarily as both president of the College of Charleston and lieutenant governor.
That would mean that McConnell would be the lieutenant governor for another seven months.
McConnell said he has not reached a decision on what he will do.