CHARLESTON — S.C. Audit Council to look at child services
The Legislative Audit Council will look into how the S.C. Department of Social Services handles services for children.
The (Charleston) Post and Courier reports the council agreed Monday to an audit amid reports of children starved to death, sexually abused and dying of illnesses that could have been treated. While the audit will look at a several concerns about Social Services, the request focuses on child safety.
More than 30 concerned Republican state House members recently wrote the council and, among other things, asked if state and federal laws for child protection are being followed by local Social Services offices.
Spokeswoman Marilyn Matheus says the agency was told Tuesday the audit will likely begin next year. She says Social services will cooperate fully.
2 election protests turned down
The S.C. Election Commission decided Tuesday that Lowcountry state Sen. Clementa Pinckney’s re-election should stand. It also upheld the re-election of state Rep. Ted Vick, D-Chesterfield.
Commissioners unanimously rejected a protest of the election by Pinckney’s Republican challenger, Leilani Bessinger, who claims Pinckney doesn’t live in the district he represents. Bessinger said she hasn’t decided whether to appeal.
Bessinger presented witnesses and documents to support her contention that Pinckney no longer lives in his boyhood home in Ridgeland, his wife lives in Lexington with their children and he is a minister in Charleston.
But Pinckney said he moved a few years ago to his cousin’s house in the same precinct in Ridgeland when the home he grew up in needed massive repairs. His lawyer put into evidence more than a dozen tax, bank and other documents that still have a Ridgeland address. The lawyer also produced photos of the cousin’s home showing Pinckney has his own entrance and has family photos and other personal items in a bedroom.
The commissions voted 5-0 to deny a protest of Vick’s re-election from Republican challenger Richie Yow, who contended some 2,000 votes were improperly cast by voters who did not live in Vick’s House district.
Yow asked the commissioners to order a new election in House District 53, alleging that up to 2,000 ballots were illegally cast by people who didn’t live in the district and through absentee ballots that were not cast properly.
Vick won by 448 votes.
State representative reinstated after tax evasion charges
State Rep. Harold Mitchell, D-Spartanburg, was reinstated to the S.C. House of Representatives Monday afternoon, Democrats say.
Mitchell was suspended after he was charged with four felony counts of state tax evasion. Mitchell entered a misdemeanor plea bargain Monday.
Wire and Staff Reports