Trapp: Repayments Will Stop

District 3 County Councilman Mikel Trapp

College Cannot Verify Identity Theft Claim

WINNSBORO – Facing a new election in his district in three weeks, incumbent County Councilman Mikel Trapp (District 3) made an unusual campaign pledge near the close of Monday night’s Council meeting, vowing to end his reimbursement to the County of more than $26,000 in tuition assistance.

Trapp made the pledge after District 2 resident Beth Jenkins, speaking during the meeting’s second public comment segment, asked Council if any provisions had been made to recoup the money should Trapp lose the March 3 election to either of his challengers – Walter Larry Stewart or Tangee Brice Jacobs. Trapp, who stopped receiving tuition assistance from the County just before a July 8, 2013 opinion from the S.C. Attorney General’s Office classified such payouts as improper, voluntarily began reimbursing the County in $100 increments, taken from his monthly County paycheck. According to County records, Trapp had received $26,806 from the County for tuition assistance while he pursued a degree in business from Columbia College.

But responding to Jenkins Monday night, Trapp completely reversed course.

“Whether I’m elected or not,” Trapp said, “the County will get a note telling them to stop taking any money from my check, regardless. You want to know the date when I will continue paying? That will be the first of never.”

Trapp then turned the discussion into a race issue.

“You keep mentioning the citizens and taxpayers,” Trapp said, although Jenkins mentioned neither in her comments. “All the citizens and taxpayers I’ve seen come to that mic were white. I haven’t seen any blacks come complain about tuition reimbursement. It’s a 60 percent black population. If they had a problem they would come up here and let me know. The only problems brought here are someone from Saving Fairfield.”

Trapp also said someone had obtained his Social Security number and had made an attempt to retrieve his records from Columbia College, but that the unnamed person in question had committed one critical error in the attempt.

“Next time one of you tries to go to Columbia College with my Social Security number and try to get my personal information, make sure you take someone with color to their skin,” Trapp said. “They know what color I am down there.”

In spite of the serious nature of Trapp’s allegations, the Councilman said after the meeting that he had not filed a police report. He said he may do so in the future. Trapp also would not say when the alleged incident occurred.

The Columbia College registrar’s office, meanwhile, said they had no record or recollection of anyone other than Trapp requesting his records.

In October 2013, Winnsboro attorney Jonathan M. Goode filed a lawsuit in the Sixth Judicial Circuit trying to recoup Trapp’s tuition money, as well as cash paid out by the County in lieu of supplemental health insurance to Trapp, Councilwoman Mary Lynn Kinley (District 6) and former Council Chairman David Ferguson (District 5). The suit was dismissed in January 2014 when Judge R. Knox McMahon ruled the plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their claims.

Comments

  1. Mark Polk says

    Poor Councilman Trapp. He is unable to make an argument of substance about his tuition money, so once again he uses the race card. Sir, people in this county, both white and black, are tired of you doing this. Please do the honorable thing, if you have any honor, and step down.

  2. Wanda Carnes says

    Dear Good Citizens of Fairfield County – District 3: Districts 1, 5 & 7 all stepped up in November and are now being represented by professional, educated business men. This type of entitlement and “Good Ole’ Boy” arrogance is the reason Fairfield County is 50 years behind the rest of the Midlands today! Please everyone come to the polls on March 3rd and vote in new leadership for District 3 – WE DESERVE IT!!!

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