Mike Schwartz of Mount Pleasant has won The Post and Courier’s Golden Pen award for November for his letter to the editor “Take action.”
The letter began:
“Following a recent financial audit of the Charleston County School District for 2014-15, the board of trustees ordered a forensic audit. Forensic audits are undertaken to determine — hopefully to rule out — whether fraud or other illegal activities may have occurred. Whatever the findings — incompetence, inattention, fraud, or all of the above and more — people responsible need to be terminated or demoted with due process and haste. We taxpayers deserve better stewardship of our hard-earned tax dollars.”
And: “Shortly after the $18 million shortfall was revealed, CCSD’s chief financial officer resigned. When there is a major problem like this, someone has to take responsibility, and starting at the top is the right move. The Post and Courier reported in a recent editorial that the CFO is being given a generous reward upon his resignation — six months’ salary plus benefits. This isn’t the first time a CCSD official has been rewarded for quitting. A little over a year ago, the superintendent resigned after her actions in handling a personnel matter in one of our schools caused a community uproar. On her way out she was rewarded with her retention as a ‘consultant’ for six months with a generous salary/benefits package. So now taxpayers are footing another unbudgeted salary and benefits bill for an unelected public employee who chose to quit.”
The letter concluded:
“Finally did the CFO and superintendent really resign, or were they terminated? There is probably much more to these stories than the public will ever learn.”
Golden Pen winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.