Richland 2 school board chair owes $52K in ethics fines

Amelia McKie
Amelia McKie

Amelia McKie, the chairwoman of Richland 2 school board, owes the state $51,750 for violating state ethics laws, the state’s top ethics official said Friday.

McKie had failed to file her campaign disclosure forms dating to her 2014 election until earlier this month, according to an order from the ethics commission. Those forms show who donated to a candidate’s campaign, how much they gave and how the candidates spent their money.

“Even though Mrs. McKie has filed a number of disclosures, she still owes the fines and has not made any payments yet,” Meghan Walker, the executive director of the ethics commission. said.

For the disclosure forms that were filed, two expenditures were omitted, a violation of state law, according to the order.

Ethics officials repeatedly tried to get McKie to pay the penalties, the order shows.

Since September 2016, ethics officials spoke with McKie on the phone several times, sent her at least four pieces of certified mail, visited her home and held an in-person meeting with her. When the ethics commission held a formal hearing on her non-payment, she did not attend, despite receiving a notice of the hearing, ethics documents show.

During this time, McKie continued to accrue fines. She was first fined $600 in July 2016 for failing to file six campaign disclosure reports, according to the order. After that, the fines increased by $60 per day — $10 per report, per day. After she continued to not file her report, the fines reached $600 per day — $100 per report, per day, the order says.

During a July 2018 hearing, the ethics commission tacked on a $16,000 civil penalty and a $575 administrative fee, bringing the total owed to $41,000. The order raised the amount owed to $51,750 if it wasn’t paid by the last day of 2018, the order says.

When McKie did file her forms, they show her 2014 campaign raised $9,862 and her 2018 campaign raised $8,693, meaning she owes more in ethics fees than she raised in both of her campaigns combined.

McKie did not return a phone call from The State seeking comment.

McKie has served on the Richland 2 school board since 2014. She was elected for a second term in 2018.

Irmo Councilman Barry Walker ferries an Okra Strut visitor on a golf cart that the town rented to provide transportation during the festival for those who needed assistance as well as volunteers and staff.

Lucas Daprile has been covering the University of South Carolina and higher education since March 2018. Before working for The State, he graduated from Ohio University and worked as an investigative reporter at TCPalm in Stuart, FL. There, where he won multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his political and environmental coverage.