Despite vote, CCSD legal report not turned over to lawmakers

VIDEO: Despite vote, CCSD legal report not turned over to lawmakers

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A legal report promised to the state lawmakers nearly a month ago has not yet been turned over by the Charleston County School District.

Rep. Marvin Pendarvis said neither he nor Rep. Peter McCoy have received a copy of the Johnson report.

The report outlines the findings of attorney Wilbur Johnson, who was hired by CCSD to investigate what happened in the Marvin Gethers case.

Our series of stories about Gethers, an elementary employee who was promoted and named Employee of the year despite being caught with child porn on his district laptop, prompted state legislators to form an investigation committee.

That committee said in its first meeting that they wanted a copy of the report to review as part of their review of CCSD personnel policies and procedures.

The Johnson report was presented to CCSD board members in executive session Nov. 12.

Board members can not disclose what was in the report, and the district is not releasing it to the public until all investigations are complete.

That night, the board unanimously voted to take eight steps including ensuring “the CCSD attorney turn information over to the State Department of Education and Chair of Legislative Delegation for further investigation.”

Board member Cindy Bohn Coats was surprised when we called to ask her why the report hadn’t been submitted to Rep. Peter McCoy yet.

She assumed it had been passed along right after the Nov. 12 vote.

“That’s disappointing. That’s very disappointing,” she said. “There’s a lot that continues to need to be investigated, needs to be discussed. But the things we can do, I expect us to do. So I’m disappointed to know that the easiest thing- which was to give that report to the Chair of the delegation – has not occurred.”

Pendarvis also said he is hugely concerned about the report and why it hasn’t been passed along yet.

Coats said this sort of problems is an unnecessary distraction from what the Board should be focused on: children and education.

“There’s no reason not to have this information finalized, done, put out there. So we can do the real work of the district, which is move forward. Make sure we’ve learned and this never happens again,” she said.

We reached out to CCSD spokesperson Andy Pruitt to find out why the report hasn’t been turned over to lawmakers yet.

He said he talked to General Counsel Natalie Ham.

“We are working on getting the information transferred,” Pruitt said Friday afternoon.

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