Recreation Commission May Have Its New Board of Commissioners

Richland County Recreation committee lawmakers nominate six for the board

Richland County, SC (WLTX) - The Richland County Recreation Commission may have its new board of commissioners.

"It was an absolute failure of leadership," Representative James Smith said.

The Richland County Recreation Commission has been under scrutiny for over a year. Ongoing civil lawsuits, criminal investigations and allegations of corruption have lead to the removal or resignation of six board members, but Smith said he hopes the delegation's nominations of new leadership will change that.

"They made impressions certainly in their educational backgrounds and experience. They're backgrounds, but in telling us why they wanted to serve," he said.

Donzetta Lindsay, Stephen Venugopal, Robert Lapin, Cynthia Shepard, Henri Hart and Jermaine Johnson Sr. were selected.

According to their applications Lindsay is retired from years working in federal government. Venugopal is a teacher and coach at Richland Northeast High School. Lapin is an 18 year soccer coach and former board member of the Columbia Jewish Community Center. Shepard owns CMS Total Fitness in Irmo. Hart has been the President of the Palmetto Baseball League and Johnson is a retired professional basketball player and president of a local nonprofit.

In a statement the Recreation Commission said, "We look forward to the Governor's appointments and see this as a positive step in moving the agency forward. Once confirmed, our goal will be to resume regular Board meetings starting Monday March 20, 2017"

But it's not official. The final review and appointment must come from Governor McMaster. Smith said that should take a few weeks.

"They'll get the names and the information that we'll send them. They'll do background checks on all of these individuals that we don't have the resources to do and then they'll come back and confirm with us that this is what we want to do, which it is and they'll make the appointment."

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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