Charleston Co. School District department head out after allegations of hiring malfeasance

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 4:40 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:11 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The head of the Charleston County School District’s facilities management department has resigned after allegations of biased hiring within his department surfaced months ago.

Ron Kramps was an associate of facilities management who oversaw much of the district’s physical response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the installation of air purifiers in most rooms.

The district confirmed that Kramps resigned as of Tuesday.

He has worked for the district for more than eight years and most recently was part of a team of CCSD leaders who met with a state representative to discuss building security earlier this month. He has also helped the district save millions of dollars in energy costs through a district-wide program under his supervision.

While the district will not comment on what led to his resignation, his leaving comes after the Racial Justice Network stood outside the district headquarters in April and accused Kramps’ department of racist hiring practices.

Kramp has not personally, publicly been named in the complaints. However, Elder James Johnson with the RJN says he met with Superintendent Don Kennedy earlier this week, in which Kramps’ fate was discussed. He says Kennedy told him Kramps would be leaving because of the complaints.

Related: Civil Rights group accuses school district of racist hiring practices

RJN stood with half a dozen Black employees during a press conference in April who said they were demoted, removed or passed over for promotions for less qualified white employees. During the press conference, Beverly Gadson-Birch with the RJN said positions were changed so they could be filled by white candidates groomed for the roles.

“Three white employees were promoted to the position of Officer without a college degree,” Beverly Gadson-Birch with the RJN said. “The positions pay $104,000 a year and were not advertised. Yet, we have black qualified experienced employees with degrees who were passed over and not given an opportunity to apply.”

Related: Charleston Co. School District employees allege discrimination in hiring process

Allegations of hiring irregularities surfaced last year when the concerns were brought to former Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait. The district issued a statement in April confirming the complaints.

We followed up with an internal investigation and then engaged attorneys from the Cozen O’Connor law firm to conduct an outside review from a neutral perspective. We will not discuss or release specifics relating to employees or allegations from the April 5, 2022, press statement issued by the Racial Justice Network, except to say that we have reviewed all concerns and have reviewed our processes. As a result, we are making appropriate changes to our hiring processes to ensure that our procedures are sound.

The district has denied a Freedom of Information request to obtain a copy of the results from the investigation conducted by Cozen O’Connor Law Firm.

Another employee from the facilities management department, Deborah Gunn, is also “no longer employed by the Charleston County School District” according to a district spokesperson. Gunn worked as a programming officer for the department and left the district at the same time as Kramps. The district would not confirm if she resigned or was terminated.

Neither Gunn nor Kramps was immediately available for comment.

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