BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Questions remain about the legality of the decision days after the Berkeley County School District (BCSD) School Board abruptly voted to fire Superintendent Deon Jackson and attorney Dr. Tiffany Richardson.
Media attorney Jay Bender said that it is possible the board broke transparency rules. Although personnel matters are discussed in executive session, the description of the executive session does not mention discussion of Jackson or Richardson.
Bender said that failing to disclose that information may be a violation of the Freedom of Information Act.
Additionally, the hiring of a new Superintendent during the same meeting in which Jackson was fired raises red flags.
Bender said coming to a consensus like that so quickly likely required a prior meeting of at least some board members.
“I cannot imagine that those steps were taken without a quorum of the board getting together in advance of the meeting,” said Bender. “Whether it was in person, by telephone, email, or electronically to decide that those were the steps that were going to be taken.”
Bender said that meeting outside the public eye is illegal.
When asked about the secrecy surrounding the decision, BCSD Board Chair Mac McQuillin provided the following statement:
“We understand that the public wants and deserves answers regarding Mr. Jackson’s and Ms. Richardson’s termination, but the prospect of litigation and the fact that their termination involve personnel issues limit our ability to comment fully at this time. However, we expect to be able to share our rationale in the future, and we are confident that we made a decision that is in the best interest of the District and its students.“