The S.C. Secretary of State’s office on Monday asked a judge for an injunction against a nonprofit organization whose chief executive officer was indicted on perjury charges earlier this year.
The request was filed against Second Chance Afterschool Learning Environment, locally known was SCALE, by the Secretary of State’s attorney Shannon Wiley at the S.C. Administrative Law Court.
It calls for barring SCALE and its officers from soliciting charitable contributions in the Palmetto State until the organization files the required documentation with the state and it produces records that have been requested through a subpoena issued by the Secretary of State’s office.
The Secretary of State’s office believes SCALE has applied for grant money from Richland County this year, despite having failed to produce documents requested through the subpoena, according to the petition filed Monday.
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SCALE’s CEO, Patricia Ford, was indicted by the State Grand Jury in March on five perjury charges. She is accused of providing fake documentation to Richland County as proof she was spending county hospitality tax, or H-tax, dollars to attract tourists and instead pocketing the cash.
SCALE has received more than $300,000 in Richland County funds in the past several years, The State newspaper has reported. Part of that, some $130,000 in H-tax money since 2015, was for acting as the fiduciary agent for the Carolina Sun Splash Festival, a Jamaican-themed reggae concert coordinated by MoBay Caribbean Restaurant at the Richland County Recreation Department’s headquarters.
The injunction request comes after months of back and forth between the state and SCALE dating to November. Repeated requests for SCALE and Ford to produce documentation through a subpoena have gone unanswered, according to Monday’s petition.
Meanwhile, SCALE’s registration with the state expired and the organization failed to file its annual financial report required of a nonprofit, the petition said.