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After sour Richland County exit, ex-administrator Seals back to teaching, preaching

Watch Richland council’s heated debate over firing administrator - and who will have to tell him the news

The Richland County Council decided to fire administrator Gerald Seals after a heated debate in a Tuesday night meeting.
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The Richland County Council decided to fire administrator Gerald Seals after a heated debate in a Tuesday night meeting.

Editor’s note: We caught up with the most interesting people we wrote about in 2018. Learn what’s new with each this week.

After an abrupt, controversial exit from Richland County’s top leadership role in May, former county administrator Gerald Seals is concentrating on two lines of work and passion he held before and during his Richland County tenure.

Seals’ departure made headlines this spring when a sharply divided County Council voted 6-5 to fire him — twice. Seals contended the attempted firing was an ambush, illegal and an attempt by some council members to retaliate against him for ethical issues he had raised.

Seals ultimately walked away with a $1 million settlement and a promise not to sue the county or individual council members.

Since then, he’s resumed his full-time teaching schedule as a business professor at Newberry College. He had pared down his teaching to one or two classes per semester while working for Richland County. His class topics include business ethics and economic development.

Seals also continues to pastor the Living Word Church and Fellowship in northeast Richland County.

“My work for God has always been a priority for me and has never taken a back seat,” Seals said.

Seals would give no indication as to whether he’s looking for or considering any other work in government but said he’s very much happy with where he is right now.

Richland County Council recently hired Ed Gomeau as interim county administrator. A search is underway for a permanent administrator.

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Sarah Ellis has reported on Columbia and Richland County since 2014. She graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in journalism. She’s probably skipping happy hour to go to a County Council meeting.

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