Terms of former Aiken County superintendent released; receiving more than $200K + vacation, sick time payment

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AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — NewsChannel 6 is learning more about the shake-up at the Aiken County Schools, including the amount the former superintendant will receive as a part of his voluntary resignation.

“What was presented to the lawyer was this, that if the board desired to keep him, they could,” former board member Rosemary English told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk. “But if the board’s tendency was not to keep them, these were the things that he would accept,” she added.  

EXTRA: "What was presented to the lawyer was this, that if the board desired to keep him, they could. But if the board's tendency was not to keep them, these were the things that he would accept. So that option was there." ”We knew how many board members would vote for that.”

Posted by Shawn Cabbagestalk WJBF on Wednesday, September 18, 2019
EXTRA: “What was presented to the lawyer was this, that if the board desired to keep him, they could. But if the board’s tendency was not to keep them, these were the things that he would accept. So that option was there.”
”We knew how many board members would vote for that.”

In documents obtained by NewsChannel 6 through South Carolina’s Open Records Request, we’ve learned the terms of Dr. Alford’s departure.

In exchange for his resignation effective September 13, Dr. Alford will receive a lump sum of $222,834 minus taxes. He will also receive pay for unused vacation and sick leave as well as payment into the retirement system totaling $18,255.01. Payment will be secured eight days after the agreement is effective.

As a letter of reference, the District will release a letter from the Board Chair, using his latest evaluation of Dr. Alford from October 30. He also agreed to provide assistance to the District if needed and at a pro-rated per diem rate in excess of 10 hours a month through June 2020.

The former superintendent and the School Board members mutually agreed not to make disparaging comments publicly about one another or the District or Board as a part of the terms. 

Dr. Alford also waived any rights to a hearing before the Board of Education.

The separation document included a note that the agreement was not an admission of wrongdoing. The former superintendent, current Aiken County School Board Chairman Keith Liner and two witnesses all signed the document dated September 6.

A number of people, including former school board member Rosemary English are calling for an ethics investigation into the school board.  She sat down with Shawn where she outlined a number of incidents in which she felt the board was doing handling business unethically. That story ran during WJBF NewsChannel 6 at 6.

EXTRA: A number of people, including former school board member Rosemary English calling for an ethics investigation into the #AikenSC school board. She outlined a number of incidents in which she felt the board was doing handling business unethically.

Posted by Shawn Cabbagestalk WJBF on Thursday, September 19, 2019
EXTRA: A number of people, including former school board member Rosemary English calling for an ethics investigation into the #AikenSC school board. She outlined a number of incidents in which she felt the board was doing handling business unethically.

“As far as questions about allegations referenced in the media are concerned, I ask that you please refer to the comments from Dr. Alford’s attorney, Donald Gist, quoted in a September 15, 2019 article in the Post and Courier, “‘As to any allegations, they’re just that: allegations,’ Gist said. ‘Dr. Alford will not, under any circumstances, address those allegations, and they had nothing to do with his personal decision to pursue other career endeavors,’” Chairman Liner said in a statement at 7:41 p.m.

“The Board appreciates and acknowledges his excellent leadership and performance during his time as superintendent of Aiken County Public Schools,” Chairman Liner said in that statement, as well.

King Laurence is now serving as interim superintendent until a replacement can be found. 

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