Richland interim elections director to be paid equivalent of $60,000 a year

dhinshaw@thestate.comMarch 4, 2014 

Samuel Selph

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— Samuel Selph was the newest member of the elections board when the board fired its director last week and then selected him to fill in.

Richland County’s interim elections director will be paid $5,000 a month.

Samuel Selph was the newest member of the elections board when the board fired its director last week and then selected him to fill in.

Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to pay him the equivalent of $60,000 a year.

The last interim director, Jasper Salmond, was paid $4,500 a month, or the equivalent of $54,000 a year, for what were considered part-time duties.

Board chairman Allen Dowdy said Selph will be putting in more hours.

“He’s beginning to realize this is going to be full-time work,” Dowdy said. “More than full-time work.”

Dowdy said he did not know how long it would be before the board would begin a search for a permanent director to replace the dismissed Howard Jackson. “We’re in limbo,” Dowdy said. “I hope it’s going to be soon.”

The board has not provided a reason for Jackson’s dismissal.

Selph is not professionally trained but said he will attend workshops in Myrtle Beach next week, sponsored by the S..C Association of Registration and Election Officials.

He told the board he expects “a smooth, clean operation” for upcoming municipal elections in both Blythewood and Eastover.

Selph, 66, is retired from the S.C. Human Affairs Commission. The Richland County legislative delegation appointed him to the elections board in June, but he resigned from the board last week to become interim director.

The makeup and duties of the board are in flux as the result of a lawsuit filed by Greenville lawyer Jim Carpenter, who successfully challenged the 2011 single-county law that merged what were separate elections and voter registration offices.

Reach Hinshaw at (803) 771-8641.

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