State Attorney General’s office responds to Dillon County Council’s budget

DILLON, SC (WBTW) – The Dillon County Board of Education reviewed a response from the State Attorney General’s office Tuesday morning. This comes after the county decided against giving the schools money to repay the 1996 Penny Sales Tax.

The Attorney General’s office sent a seven-page response to the question, “Whether the Dillon County Council’s termination of its practice of 21 years of dividing Dillon County’s portion of these funds equally between the county and the county school board is lawfully appropriate?”

Dillon High School Student Jacorie McCall was invited to speak during the board meeting.

“I was shut down and rudely interrupted at a public hearing,” said McCall.

The board welcomed McCall to speak after he was cut off three times by county council.

Allowing me to speak at the school board meeting means more to me than they will probably ever know because it made me feel that the citizens of Dillon County matter,” said McCall. “Our voices weren’t hearing ‘shut up’ or ‘stop being heard’, or ‘hush.’ It was I want to hear what you have to say because that is the only way the County can move forward.”

The board reviewed a response from the attorney general’s office during an executive session. The letter says:

“We believe the county has no authority to divert the school board’s portion of the funds to other purposes. Such diversion is unauthorized by the law, in our opinion.”

– Robert D. Cook Solicitor General

Board Chairman Richard Schafer said the board agrees with the Attoney General’s office as well as the treasurer. He said he is waiting on a judge to determine if the budget is legal. If a judge rules in favor of the county. The school district will have to consider raising taxes by 5 mills.

“To help pay that $2.4 million dollars we owe every year,” said Schafer. “To the $60 million dollar bond referendum that the tax payers agreed too.”

McCall hopes the county is held accountable.

“For County council to take that money away. It scares me. It’s the lack of concern, lack of ethics and it goes to show they don’t care about anyone but self-interest,” said McCall.

News13 reached out to the clerk to court, county administrator and lawyer defending the treasure, there is no date set for a judge to review the council’s budget at this time.