Mr. Saitta was the go between in the original law suit to stop the construction of all the schools, and should know of the power that is wielded in Columbia. The school board is also defended by lawyers from Columbia that have political, legislative, and judicial favor. Our original suit was not given much thought by the Supreme Court, mainly because three essential elements that had been requested by me were left off the suit. These elements included the fact that the School Board was to make the payments on a lease basis to SCAGO and SCAGO would be responsible to pay the bond holders through a company believed to be Wells Fargo Bank, which meant that these payments were an operational expense to the Board. The account that the payments by the School Board were made from couldn’t be a debt account because the school board was not allowed to have debt of this magnitude(only 8% of the appraised property values in the county) and it violated the constitutional law from paying from the bond account. This type of payment made the State of SC responsible under law 388 because it was an operating expense, and was so ruled so by the SC Supreme Count in July of 2009. Seven counties were granted a favorable ruling which meant that the other 39 counties had to pay for their schools .
Long before the Supreme Court ruled it an operating expense, the Conservatives of the Upstate held a conference with Governor Sanford, and explained the operating expense claim. He agreed with us and referred us to Attorney General McMaster. I found out that the Legislature had passed a law that citizens could not go direct to their elected Attorney General. I asked Senator Martin to get us an audience with McMaster. He sent me a letter explaining that he had gone direct to McMaster and that McMaster said there was “no problem” and Martin now considered my request fulfilled. We then went to a law firm in Columbia who intimated they might take the case Pro Bono ( on contingency) because they agreed with us. The next day they called and said it would cost us $250,000 to take the case. We asked for our paperwork back but to this day it has not been returned. The next thing I heard about it was that 7 counties had won the case using our pleadings even mentioning Pickens in the suit. I then asked the school board to get our money back for the people of Pickens County. Senator Martin blocked every effort to get the peoples’ money back, even pre filing laws to stop us.
On Mr. Saitta’s cost of the athletic fields at $31.6 million. He needs to retake cost accounting 101. True my $100 million was an estimate, but I will debate Mr. Saitta anytime on his figure. Just the interest alone for 25 years on his figure would run it up to nearly $100 million, but I am convinced he left out many costs in his figures: four new football stadiums, land bought and graded for the stadiums, parking , % of bond attorneys fees, at least four new gymnasiums which are a high percentage of the square footage of each high school, land for and construction of baseball, soccer and other sports fields, and so on. The destruction of Daniel High facilities must be included.
Last, I want SLED to be called in to look at over collections of tax over the last 30 years estimated at $40 million which should have been refunded.
Chairman of the Board
Conservatives of the Upstate