By RON AIKEN
Let’s do the numbers.
Trying to find out how much executives and staff earn at Richland County’s two special purpose districts – the Recreation Commission and the Elections and Voter Registration Office – is nearly impossible because neither entity reports its wages to the state salary database even though all its employees are public workers paid with public money.
It’s important to know what they earn because it allows a window into agencies who try hard to keep the blinds down, especially when they a) want more funding with less scrutiny (elections and voter registration) or b) wish to obscure the amount of raises awarded and the disparity in salaries (James Brown III at $151,800, which is nearly twice as much as his counterpart at the elections office, Sam Selph at $79,771).
With so much scrutiny on both special purpose districts and in the interest of public service, below is the public salary information for both entities that you will not find anywhere online except here.
With information on the recreation commission dating back to 2012-13, the salaries include that controversial $25,300 raise for James Brown III for FY 2015-16 that took place well after allegations of serial sexual harassment, nepotism and intimidation had been brought to the attention of the recreation commission’s board, a board he is accused of bribing.
That same board chose not to investigate complaints back in 2014, and earlier this month chose to ignore the results of a private investigation by a respected labor attorney based on hours of testimony from multiple employees, one that has cost taxpayers more than $30,000 and counting.
Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Office (2016-17):
Richland County Recreation Commission (2012-12 to 2016-17):
Reach Aiken at (803) 254-411. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @RonAiken and @TheNerveSC. Like what we’re doing? Sign up for email alerts to receive breaking news at the top right-hand side of the page.