On April 5th, 2023, Representative Fawn Pedalino had accrued a substantial amount of documentation from CCSD that concerned her. She decided to have a meeting with the Governor’s office to discuss the documentation at length and get their valued opinion. Based on their preliminary review of the provided documentation, the Governor’s office agreed that further analysis was warranted. On this page, you will find an overview of the documentation Representative Pedalino brought to the Governor’s office. Her goal in bringing this information to the Governor was to uphold accountability and transparency that many feel is lacking in CCSD and to maintain the integrity of the education system.
***Please note that the questions and concerns that Representative Pedalino poses are strictly addressing the documentation provided. All the documentation below was either retrieved through FOIA or from the district or state website and are legitimate documents. Please also keep in mind that since April of 2023, some of her questions or concerns could have been handled or answered since that point. In any investigation, the goal is to make sure there is no wrongdoing, but all should be considered innocent until proven guilty.
Within this section you will find the school district's monthly journal entries spanning from late 2021 to early 2023. These records have raised numerous questions as far as the financial management choices of our school district. For example, in January 2023, we spent a total of $54,577.00 in hotel costs alone.
School Board Overpayment SC A106, R13, S648
"Set by majority vote of the board a salary that each member shall receive for attending meetings of the board, which may not exceed four hundred fifty dollars per month."
The Consolidation bill that was created by Senator Johnson for the final CCSD, states that board members shall not exceed $450 per month for their salary. Along with the bill, you will find the CCSD/CSD2 statements where the board members were averaging AT LEAST $600 a month, sometimes more! The link also contains the board members' list.
They also had nearly $1 million set aside for their health and life insurance. Around $500,000 was removed when the new budget was revealed, however, there are still questionable amounts within the board's budget. In the monthly statements available online, it appears that they consistently receive "reimbursements" exceeding the $300 per month they had agreed to accept to help repay these funds. Click HERE to view supporting documents. Please see the video below of the school board admitting to being overpaid.
Clarendon County District 1 was taken over by the SCDE due to the mismanagement of funds. In their 2018 audit report on November 5th, it clearly states that Tony Junious, the board chairman for District 1, was hiring contractors that were friends and family. Those friends and family admit they were asked to increase the price on invoices to give Tony kickbacks. Click HERE to view supporting documents and the 2018 audit.
Irregularities and conflicts of interest involving Senator Kevin Johnson:
Senator Johnson authored a bill to dissolve the Clarendon County Board of Education, granting himself and the delegation the power to appoint school board members. The governor vetoed the dissolving of the Clarendon County Board of Education bill. He vetoed the consolidation bill of District 1 and 3. Governor McMaster stated that it was dangerous to let a local delegation hold all of the power and take the voice away from the people.
He subsequently proposed legislation to consolidate the local school districts and, along with his daughter Kimberly Johnson, appointed members to the consolidated Clarendon County School District.
One of the appointees, Tony Junious, was accused of receiving kickbacks while being the chair of District 1. Senator Johnson was aware of this, but still appointed him.
Senator Johnson pushed for the passage of a budget with a high superintendent's salary, despite concerns about its appropriateness.
Kimberly Johnson, Senator Johnson's daughter, was hired as an "Assistant Director" at F.E. Dubose and received a significant raise in a short time. She was a non-certified employee with no background in education.
Other members of Senator Johnson's family, including his wife and another daughter, hold positions within the school district with relatively high salaries.
These connections compromise Senator Johnson, as his family and friends hold influential positions within the school district, leading to conflicts of interest. Click HERE to view supporting documents.
Shawn Johnson, the superintendent, received a significant pay increase from $140,000 to $225,000 despite our school district having 4,329 students. He also enjoys various perks including a cell phone, laptop, and $1,000 per month for in-district travel expenses. Additionally, he receives reimbursement for any out of district costs. When attempting to set up a meeting with him, there were delays and cancellations. Also, there are concerns about his lack of attendance in the district, given that he is a full time minister in Myrtle Beach. The district has eight administrators earning over $100,000, resulting in a total administration cost of $1,229,178. Click HERE to view supporting documents. For further breakdown, please click HERE.
The school district purchased 10 vehicles. They went to GA to purchase them, and no one seems to know who they are for or why 7 district cars are needed. 3 of the 10 are supposedly for SRO's to drive. When going over the budget, this need was never discussed. Click HERE to view supporting documents.
Mismanagement of Funds
When going through the online statements that are provided by the district, the month of January 2023 alone showed there were over $54,577 dollars spent on hotel costs. There are also employee vendor costs that are excessive each month, with no real explanation as to where they are being dispersed. Additionally, there was no policy for employee payment advancements that were provided. Click HERE to view supporting documents.