Berkeley Co. School District communications director pleads guilty to charges

Berkeley Co. School District communications director pleads guilty to charges

Berkeley County School District Communications Director Amy Kovach pleaded guilty to one charge of misconduct in office and one count of use of government resources to influence an election.

Officials with the Attorney General's Office say Kovach was sentenced to five years imprisonment, suspended to two years probation for the misconduct in office charge; and one year imprisonment, suspended to two years probation and a $25,000 fine for the use of government resources to influence an election charge.

The two probation sentences will be served concurrently, meaning she will face only two years probation in total.

Kovach was indicted by a Berkeley County grand jury in connection with the State Law Enforcement Division investigation into the school district's investigation into the 2012 Yes 4 Schools campaign.

The referendum asked voters to approve raising taxes for a 198 million dollar school building and renovation program.

Kovach could have gotten up to to ten years in prison for the misconduct charge.

She has been on leave from her almost $80,000 a year job since February of last year.

Former schools superintendent Rodney Thompson also is facing charges in the case. Thompson was indicted by the state grand jury on a misdemeanor ethics charge involving public corruption.

"Today's plea validates the rule of law. South Carolina law is clear and it does not condone the use of public funds and resources to advocate for a position in a school bond referendum," Attorney General Wilson said regarding Kovach's guilty plea."Taxpayers are not required to subsidize one side or the other in an election."

"This began as cases like this often do. Material was presented to our Office by a private citizen. We then requested SLED look into the matter. Once SLED completed the investigation, the information uncovered served as the basis for this case."

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