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Former longtime Richland Councilwoman Bernice Scott files for old seat

Bernice Scott announces candidacy for Richland County Council

Scott served for 20 years before her son-in-law, Kelvin Washington, held the District 10 seat for the past eight years. On Wednesday, Gov. Nikki Haley removed Washington from his seat.
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Scott served for 20 years before her son-in-law, Kelvin Washington, held the District 10 seat for the past eight years. On Wednesday, Gov. Nikki Haley removed Washington from his seat.

Bernice Scott, who represented Lower Richland for 20 years on Richland County Council, filed for that same District 10 seat again that until Wednesday had been held by her son-in-law, Kelvin Washington.

Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday removed Richland County council member Kelvin Washington from the seat he held since 2008.

Haley said she was declaring his Lower Richland council seat vacant because Washington had recently been convicted of the crime of failure to file state income taxes for three years.

Scott talks about work on council and why she was retiring.

Under state law, the governor has the authority to declare vacant the seat of any county or state official “convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude,” according to the governor’s office.

Failure to pay income taxes is a crime involving moral turpitude, Haley’s office said Wednesday.

Washington pleaded guilty last month to misdemeanor charges related to failure to file state income tax returns and pay taxes. Judge J. Mark Hayes ordered him to pay a $2,500 fine and $1,000 in court costs and gave him probation in lieu of jail time.

Washington also is facing a felony DUI charge and has been absent from the past two council meetings.

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