SLED investigating Berkeley County ethics case

      MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the Berkeley County School District for possible ethics violations.

      The investigation stems from the school district's involvement in a referendum on borrowing for school construction. The borrowing of nearly $200 million was approved in November.

      A letter from the attorney general's office said authorities received information of possible violations of the South Carolina Ethics Act during the referendum campaign.

      BCSD spokesperson Susan Haire released the following statement.

      "For months, there have been rumors and threats arising out of the School Improvement Bond Referendum.

      As expected, concerns have been raised about the district's efforts in connection with the school improvement referendum.

      Some of these concerns are now under review by state level authorities and the district is fully cooperating with the individuals involved but has been directed not to discuss the matter.

      The district will continue to fully cooperate and will provide further responsive information when it is appropriate to do so. We appreciate your understanding that we are not at liberty to discuss this matter further at this time or answer any questions."

      The Berkeley County School Board added a referendum to the general election ballot last November. A majority of voters{}approved the $198 million dollar{}referendum for Berkeley County to use tax dollars to build five new schools and to renovate 29 others.