Seals talks with Voice on the record

WINNSBORO – Gerald Seals has been around the block as an administrator for several large city and county governments including Greenville and Richland – so when he was so quickly hired and just as quickly dismissed with a phone call the next day as the Fairfield county interim administrator, he said he was surprised.

Seals

“The law in South Carolina says when you want to rid yourself of someone, you have to do that publicly. You have to give them written reasons and you have to give them the right to address you in public.”

Seals said none of that took place, so he plans to come back and still do that – address council publicly and find out the real reason why he was dismissed the day after council voted to hire him.

“I was called by Mr. [Moses] Bell on a Wednesday and invited to interview for the interim county administrator job in executive session on Thursday – albeit, an illegal session,” Seals said. The vote following executive session was 4-3 to hire him.

Seals says he was told the next day by Bell that his services were no longer needed – before any contract had been negotiated.

Seals said there are several problems with all of this.

“It was inappropriate hold an executive session for a simple get acquainted interview” Seals said. “We weren’t negotiating anything, just talking. That interview could and should have been done in public session.”

The morning after he was hired, Seals said he called County Administrator Jason Taylor’s assistant to begin preparing for when he would come to work. He said he requested budget, employee and other documents to review and wanted to set up interviews with department heads.

Seals said Taylor nixed those requests later that day, saying he didn’t want to hand over that information until Seals was under contract with the county.

Seals called Bell.

“Mr. Bell wouldn’t talk to me about it. So it’s my view that it was him [Bell] who instructed Mr. Taylor not to give me the information I requested.”

According to Seals, Bell also accused Seals of “stalk-calling employees and other things, impugning my reputation, saying that I’m some kind of abusive person with staff, and I haven’t even done any work yet.”

“I told Mr. Bell that he can’t fire me,” Seals said. “That’s an action that has to be taken by the full council.

“I do plan to appear before council again,” he said. “I’m not asking to be hired. That’s not what I’m interested in,” Seals said. “I’m a sitting pastor and I’ve been there a long time. I have 40 years in the business where I teach ethics to up and coming business students, and what you’ve done, you’ve said I’m unethical, that I abuse people, but I haven’t talked to anyone but two people and all I’ve asked for is public information. You’ve turned around and lied and said that the only way I can get that information is through FOIA. That’s called closed government. That’s not legal in the state of South Carolina. You can’t do what you’re doing.

“I want to have a voice to correct the record. I want to put the lie out so there are no whisper campaigns going on,” he said. “Let’s put it right out there in the public.”

Comments

  1. Jenyfer T Conaway says

    It seems that you requested the personnel files of employees. That is NOT public information.

  2. jeff schaffer says

    Is it just me or is the general public going PC (politically IN correct) crazy?
    Mr. Bell and Mr. Trapp are on a mission for disinformation and miss information to the public.
    But first and foremost, How about answering one important question…Why did you remove Mr. Taylor.???

    Jeff Schaffer
    Lake. Monticello

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