Council hires former Richland County Administrator Gerald Seals as interim administrator

WINNSBORO – During a special called meeting Thursday evening, Fairfield County Council voted to hire former Richland County Administrator Gerald Seals as interim administrator for Fairfield.  Current Fairfield County Administrator Jason Taylor will be leaving the county on June 5 to assume the duties of Town Manager for the Town of Winnsboro.


Seals served as county administrator for Richland County, making headlines when the county fired him in May, 2018 in a close 6-5 vote. He walked away with a $1 million settlement and resumed teaching at Newberry College where he had taught previously. He served as administrator for Greenville County prior to coming to Richland.

Following the 4-2 vote to hire Seals, Councilman Mikel Trapp moved for Bell and town attorney Charles Boyken to negotiate a contract with Seals.

Councilman Neil Robinson’s requested that all council members be allowed to review the contract before it is signed.

“If the salary goes above what we talked about,” Bell said, otherwise dismissing Robinson’s request.

“I would still like council to be able to review the document, Mr. Chair.” Robinson said.

Again dismissing Robinson, Bell called for the vote on the negotiation of the contract, which also ended 4-2.

Seals thanked council for their confidence in him.

“The council has expressed itself, so for the next four to five months I’ll work with them and try to understand their priorities and vision,” Seals told The Voice following the meeting. “Our job is to make that vision come alive.”

Seals also serves as pastor of the Living Word Church and Fellowship in Northeast Richland County.

He is the third candidate the majority four on county council has considered for the interim job. Three weeks ago, Bell called an executive session to discuss hiring a former City of Columbia official who, it was learned, left the City after he was accused of sexual harassment. When that information was revealed to council, the majority four declined to move forward with a vote.

Last week, the majority four voted 4-3 to offer the interim job to former State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex. However, Rex turned down the offer on Tuesday, saying the deeply divided vote as well as the current turmoil in the county government made the job ‘not a good fit for me.’

The county has issue an RFP for a firm to search for a suitable permanent administrator. The process to find a replacement for Taylor is expected to take five to six months.

Seals said he was not sure when he will start work as interim administrator, that it would be up to council.


  1. R Wright says

    I can’t believe they hired Seals, who has a bad history!

  2. EdBell says

    I just pray they know what they are doing. We vote these people into these offices with no knowledge or experiences or management skills. We get what we vote for.

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