COLUMBIA, S.C. — On the day of her taking office, the South Carolina Democratic Party (SCDP) is asking for an investigation into the certification of Republican Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver.
In letters to the US Attorney General Merrick Garland and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, SCDP Chair Trav Robertson Jr. writes the South Carolina Republican Party, Bob Jones University, South Carolina Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (the organization responsible for college and university accreditation) conspired to commit fraud and circumvent state law.
When Weaver entered the race to become SC Superintendent of Education, she did not possess the requisite masters degree that South Carolina law states a candidate needs to have in order to hold that office.
Weaver had graduated Bob Jones University with an associate's degree and returned to her alma mater to gain her Master's Degree in Education Leadership. The normal process for obtaining a master's degree is two years yet Weaver claims she was able to get her master's through Bob Jones online course in less than eight months -- while working and managing a full time election campaign.
The school has said she met their requirements to obtain the degree.
In the letter to the attorneys general, Robertson writes:
"The conspiracy to commit fraud is evidenced by the certification of a candidate not legally qualified to hold office under South Carolina Law and the creation of a master's program not offered to any other individual, thus completing the conspiracy to circumvent state law. The probability that an individual can comply with South Carolina law by enrolling, satisfying the requirements, and receiving a post-baccalaureate degree in as few as eight months is questionable at best.
"Elections matter and should be above and beyond reproach. Therefore, you must review these circumstances as quickly as possible. The certification of candidates under state law should be the same for every person, and the master's degree program created for Ellen Weaver should be available to all students."
WLTX reached out to Superintendent Weaver about the letters and have not yet had a response.
South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick issued a statement saying:
"The South Carolina Democrat Party is almost as irrelevant as this unfounded and absurd stunt. It's a pathetic attempt to steal attention from the inauguration of a duly elected Superintendent who is committed to making educational choice a reality in our state. Maybe they should try winning an election the old fashioned way - at the ballot box, like we do."