Howard Jackson, The Director of the Richland County Elections Commission has been voted out of office. The decision was made Monday by the board with a 4-1 vote.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Howard Jackson, The Director of the Richland County Elections Commission has been voted out of office.
The decision was made Monday by the board with a 4-1 vote.
The vote marks the second time in one year that the county is without an elections director.
None of the election commission board members returned any of our calls Monday, but we did speak with the former director. He did not want to appear on camera but did let us record his conversation; he says he was fired for insubordination, but he says he would not compromise his belief of doing what is right.
"I know that both of these actions that they wanted me to do were both illegal and unethical, so I chose not to do them, I chose not to carry out what I perceived to be unethical and illegal," said Jackson.
Jackson had only been on the job since last June. He took over for Lillian McBride, who resigned in January of last year from the position after problems with the 2012 general election in Richland County.
He says there has been a power struggle over personnel decisions that he has made.
"They both involve personnel decisions that I was asked to do or not to do and when I refused to not do those two I was considered insubordinate. But tomorrow when you find out what those acts are I think you and the citizens of Richland County will side with me that one thing was illegal because it involved discrimination and the other one was unethical because it involved the conduct of the election."
Jackson experienced a problem under his leadership - during the November 2013 election when nearly 1,000 votes went uncounted.
He says that legal counsel informed the board that their duty is to hire and fire the director... But not made the day to day hiring and firing, those duties belong to the director.
Jackson questions a number of decisions that the board has made and is now calling for an investigation.
"I will be willing to testify and I will be willing to take a lie detector test and I will challenge them to do so. Everything that I will say tomorrow is factually based; I am not going to say anything that is opinionated. Everything that I am going to say tomorrow I have verifiable proof which is in a written form and or employees that can corroborate what I am saying."
Again we contacted every member of the board several times for a response but no one returned our calls.
Jackson will hold a press conference tomorrow at noon.