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My Ethics Complaint Against Spearman and Maness

I am in the process of filing an ethics complaint against outgoing SC Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. She used public school student email addresses to communicate her endorsement of Kathy Maness in the recent Republican Primary. I just found this out from my minor-aged child who received her email in his/her state-issued school account.

I base my complaint on SC Code Sect. 8-13-1346 of the Ethics, Government Accountability, and Campaign Reform Act of 1991 which states “A person may not use or authorize the use of public funds, property, or time to influence the outcome of an election.” The General Assembly passed the 1991 ethics reform act in response to the “Lost Trust” scandal after several government officials were indicted for corruption by the FBI.

I also intend to file a complaint against Maness as a “person” acting “in concert” as defined in SC Code Sect. 8-13-100 (24).

As a parent of a student who received the endorsement email, I find Spearman’s use of student email addresses to solicit support for Maness as an abuse of power, an invasion of my child’s privacy, and an attempt to usurp my parental rights.

As a former legislator who, on several occasions, heard testimony from Spearman in her official role as superintendent about the communication difficulties between individual school districts and her department, I find her use of student email addresses to be cynical and dishonest.

As a citizen, I find her use of government resources to be inherently corrupt.

Below is a copy of the email:

Spearman-Maness-Endorsement