Columbia, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is asking for more information from the Richland County Recreation Commission as she considers a request to remove several of them from their jobs.
Haley sent a letter to all seven members of the commission Thursday, asking for additional documentation about how they handle harassment claims, potential nepotism, and allegations of intimidation.
Several weeks ago, a group of senators and state representatives from Richland County asked Haley to remove five of the commissioners. The lawmakers said the commissioners ignored complaints made against the agency involving sexual harassment, didn't stop the hiring of relatives of employees, failed to prevent the creation of a hostile work environment, and didn't properly oversee the agency.
Those same lawmakers--and others who don't agree that the commissioners should be removed--are responsible for appointing the commissioners to their jobs. However, state law does not allow them to remove a commissioner, even if they've engaged in misconduct.
In her letter, Haley said she doesn't like getting involved in local matters, but agreed that since state law doesn't provide any other way to remove a commissioner other than action by a governor, she could take action. However, Haley wants to get the extra information she's requesting before deciding if she'll get involved.
Haley has given the commissioners until October 28 to respond.
The recreation commission is responsible for managing the parks and recreation programs throughout the county. Since March, five civil lawsuits have been filed against the commission, Brown, members of the board and other employees.
On Tuesday, the executive director of the Recreation Commission, James Brown III, retired, one week after he was indicted by a grand jury on a misconduct in office charge and arrested on claims that he intimidated a witness. Several of the allegations of misconduct made against the commission directly involved Brown. Previous Coverage: James Brown III Reties from Recreation Commission