Governor formally requests Inspector General to investigate R2

Richland Two Pledges Full Cooperation With Investigation

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina State Inspector General’s office has been given the go-ahead to investigate Richland School District Two officials, according to a letter obtained by The Voice, dated June 22, from Gov. Henry McMaster asking for the investigation.

“In contacting my office, parents and other constituents have relayed various complaints regarding Richland Two and have communicated allegations of—or cited well-documented instances or circumstances reflecting—organizational or institutional dysfunction or other mismanagement by Richland Two’s elected and appointed leadership,” according to the letter.

“Individuals have also expressed significant concerns pertaining to Richland Two’s financial status, including assertions that Richland Two’s leadership-related issues have negatively impacted the district’s ability to conduct, manage, and oversee its fiscal affairs in an appropriate and effective manner,” the Governor wrote.

In the letter, McMaster asks Inspector General Brian Lamkin to thoroughly investigate these areas of concern, “as well as any different or additional allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, mismanagement, misconduct, violations of state or federal law, or wrongdoing, as you deem appropriate.”

McMaster also asked for information about what is revealed from the investigation, “so that I may evaluate the information and consider whether removal of any such official is warranted.”

In a reply on Thursday to the Governor’s request, Lamkin said his office has, “authorized the initiation of an investigation… review, and analysis of Richland School District Two in connection with various allegations and concerns regarding potential mismanagement misconduct, violations of state or federal law, or wrongdoing.”

According to Richland School District Two’s Chief Communications Officer Libby Roof, the District’s administrators contacted State Inspector General Lamkin on June 23, 2022, to follow up on a report that the Governor had submitted the formal request to Lamkin to conduct an investigation, review and analysis of Richland Two.

“In speaking with Mr. Lamkin, we pledged our full cooperation with the investigation,” Roof said.

“As demonstrated in our recent successful accreditation process and our annual financial audits, our district approaches any and all reviews with a strong commitment to transparency and to our Core Values of Learning, Character, Community and Joy,” Roof said.

This story was updated on June 29, 2022 at 6:48 p.m.


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