A Case Against The School Board Is Building ...
1. The School Board of Pickens County and the McNair Law Firm ( as officers of the court) have consistently refused to follow their oath of office, which requires them to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitutions of the United States and of The State of South Carolina.
2. Both the School Board of Pickens County, and the General Assembly have violated Article XI Section 3 of the SC Constitution by engaging in a scheme through SCAGO (the dummy corporation used to facilitate the school building plan) to overcharge the people of Pickens County for buildings and repairs that should be paid for by the State of South Carolina.
3. The School Board of Pickens County has violated Article X, Sections 11 and 5 which limits the borrowing of the Board to 8% of the appraised value of the County property by borrowing $411,000,000+. This part of the Constitution was enacted with the intent to help with emergencies, not implement massive school construction schemes.
4. The Colleton County Taxpayers Association v. School District of Colleton County defined a "financing agreement" and also ruled that a "SCAGO dummy corporation" was not the alter ego of the school board. This means the SCAGO Dummy Corp. is entirely separate from the School Board. The School Board of Pickens County has switched back and forth; as if the separation was not there: Selling mortgaged schools and taking $13.5 million in interest collected on the early borrowing by SCAGO and spending it on replacement computers, repairing roofs, installing air conditioners, etc. in existing schools (which are operational expense items and should be paid for by the State under Act 388).
5. There is not a qualified elected official on the Pickens County SCAGO Board to set millage for the repayment of the loans to fulfill the obligation to the mortgagor. The Auditor and the Treasurer of Pickens County can tell them how much the millage amounts to, as a ministerial member of the Board. This is taxation without representation under Article X Section 5. If the School Board touches this money, as they have in the past, it violates the 8% rule.
6. Holding two positions, as a board member of SCAGO, and as Treasurer or Auditor is amongst the many conflicts of interest.
7. It is our opinion, that the payments on the new schools are operational expense payments because they are lease payments which is an operational expense that should be paid for by the State under Act 388. Six school districts sued the State and won their case in opinion #26682 and are currently receiving payment from the State for their schools. The reason Pickens is not being paid for by the State is because of the account which it is being paid from. It cannot be paid legally from the bonded Indebtedness account. We need to find out who told the Treasurer what account to pay the payments from.
8. The money borrowed in revenue bonds, $336,165,000, has grown to a $386,000,000 est. plus general obligation bonds of $30,000,000 est. without any authorization from the taxpayers. The school board has also spent $13.5 million on other projects from the interest on the original bonds. This is after a vote by the people of Pickens County who said no by a 2 to1 margin before construction ever started. Monies are HIDDEN each year for budgetary reasons.
9. SCAGO has been melded into the school board as its alter ego just as we said it would in our suit against the School Board in 2005. The School Board of Pickens County manipulates the taxes from the millage set on the bonds, and the mortgages on the schools which are the collateral that SCAGO has to guarantee the Bonds. This is unconstitutional and violates the SCAGO contracts.
10. When a resignation of a School Board member (Ben Trotter, Liberty) occured, three other members immediately conspired to spend the $13.5 million in interest derived from the early bond sales in 2005 without consulting SCAGO. In doing so, they violated the constitutional law by putting a tax on the people without representation. A vote by a quorum is not correct here because the seat had been vacated, thus causing 16% of the people of Pickens County to be disenfranchised.