Director of Richland Elections Held in Contempt

Elections Director held in contempt of court

Columbia, SC (WLTX) The director of the Richland County Voter Registration and Elections Commission is being held in contempt of court.

Judge Joseph Strickland ruled that Sam Selph is in contempt of court after the commission did not pay about $38,000 in legal expenses.

Those expenses were to be paid to Rusty Depass and the South Carolina Public Interest Foundation. They are plaintiffs in a previous court case.

"For a year and a half we've been trying to collect that judgment," attorney James Carpenter said. "The board of voter registration and elections has a lot of assets that could be seized and sold. Now that would be a hardship on the whole voting process here, but something's got to be done. The judgment has been here for over a year and a half and it's just gaining interest and everybody here has just ignored it."

Carpenter represents Depass and the South Carolina Public Interest Foundation.

Selph and his attorney said they have made every effort to pay the expenses, but there is a process they believe they must go through which includes county council.

"There was no contempt. We did everything that we were supposed to do. He doesn't have a bank book or bank account or checkbook. He's got to go through the motions to get this thing paid,"  Alex Postic, Selph's attorney said.

Earlier this week council met to resolve the issue, but did not make a decision saying they had too many questions that were left unanswered.

Selph was on vacation during that time and was not present to answer council’s questions. Selph says he will be present on Tuesday when council plans to take up the issue again.

Judge Strickland is still considering Selph’s punishment for the contempt charge.


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