Charleston County School District CFO responds to reports of multiple DUI arrests

Charleston County School District CFO Glenn Stiegman pleaded guilty to DUI and reckless driving after he was charged with DUI in both 2012 and 2013. Provided: Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center.

The Charleston County School District's new chief financial officer has been arrested on DUI charges three times in five years before he was hired, something board members said they learned about this week.

Court records show Glenn Stiegman's arrests date back to 2008. He pleaded guilty to driving with unlawful alcohol content, his first misdemeanor.

Mount Pleasant Police charged him with DUI again in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, he pleaded guilty to one count of DUI and reckless driving. In exchange prosecutors dropped charges of DUI-second offense and leaving the scene of an accident attended, records show.

He was ordered to pay $1,072 and $445 in fines and court costs on the two most recent charges.

Steven Burritt of Mothers Against Drunk Driving South Carolina said Tuesday while they have no policy dictating the employment options of someone convicted with a DUI, having someone in the school system with repeat offenses can be concerning.

"We're dissappointed anytime anyone still makes the decision to drink and drive. Clearly the consequences can be so high," Burritt said.

Stiegman was hired as chief financial officer on May 24 after Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait appointed him the interim CFO in November of 2015 after the sudden resignation of Michael Bobby.

"When it's someone in a position of leadership and someone in our educational system who, you know, we'd hope would be, you know, as a role model to children, it's even more disappointing when we have folks high up," Burritt said.

Stiegman, 66, declined to speak with ABC News 4 on camera. He released the following statement late Tuesday afternoon through the school district:

"I accepted the position as Interim CFO and ultimately CFO of CCSD to assist in bringing about necessary change to benefit our students and the members of our community, which is of the utmost importance to me. Several years ago, I found myself faced with difficulty and adversity in my personal life, which culminated in my becoming addicted to alcohol. Speaking about this publicly is the most difficult task that I have ever had to do, because as a result of my addiction, I made some poor choices that led to three arrests during a span of five years. After my first arrest in 2008, to which I pled guilty to driving with unlawful alcohol content, I enrolled and completed the Alcohol Drug and Safety Action Program. However, I continued to battle my addiction through 2013, after I pled guilty to driving under the influence and reckless driving. As a result of my own actions for which I assume full responsibility, I took multiple steps towards rehabilitation, and I truly believe that I have made great improvements and strides with this support and the support of my family, which has enabled me to overcome my personal struggles. I work and will continue to work faithfully to endure that our district's standards and financial objectives are met and exceeded to benefit our students, employees and local residents."

Several board members told ABC News 4 they first learned about Stiegman's arrests Monday. They say a "watchdog group" delivered the information during a school board meeting.

Board Chairman Cindy Bohn-Coats said they did not know prior to Monday night, nor would they because all employee prospects are vetted through human resources.

Board members said their concern is whether he completed court-ordered counseling. Records show he underwent outpatient therapy in 2014.

"We do hope people took it seriously when they saw that because, obviously, every decision to get behind the wheel when drinking puts innocent lives at risk," Burritt said.

The board members told ABC News 4 they don't know right now if the information about the arrests would have necessarily changed their decision to hire him.

Board member Todd Garrett spoke very highly of Stiegman and what he's done for the district.

"He's a God-send to this district. He's provided order, fiscal discipline and transparency where there was none," Garrett said. "There was complete disorder, a lack of discipline. There was no transparency for board members or taxpayers. We cannot function as a district without him."

Garrett called the watchdog group's actions "a personal destruction of his character."

"This is a health issue protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. We brought in Stiegman as a recognized state expert on school district financing."

Garrett said he can't say whether the information would have changed his mind bu,t "I have the benefit of knowing what he's capable of today."

According to a redacted incident report on the 2012 arrest, Stiegman's vehicle struck another vehicle on Hungryneck Boulevard. He reportedly stopped at the Bank of America on Anna Knapp Boulevard. The officer who filed the report said, "He stated he takes heart medicine, blood pressure medicine, Celeberex and over the counter sleeping pills. He told me the effect of alcohol is enhanced slightly when taking these medications. He was unsteady on his feet when I was speaking to him and his speech was slurred."

According to the report, Stiegman was unable to recite the alphabet from D to R.

According to an incident report on Stiegman's 2013 arrest, he was traveling across the Ravenel Bridge at about 25 miles over the speed limit. The reporting officer said Stiegman switched lanes without a signal and at one point nearly sideswiped another car. The officer said he could smell alcohol when he got to the car. Again, according to the report, Stiegman was unable to recite the alphabet from D to R.

In a statement released by CCSD Tuesday afternoon, school officials lauded Stiegman's performance.

"Mr. Stiegman has been instrumental in rebuilding our financial security to enable us to serve the needs of our students, employees and constituents."

School officials confirmed they learned of Stiegman's DUI charges during a background check and said per district policy, "employee applicants with arrest records are considered by the district on a case-by-case basis, unless the applicant was convicted of a felony or possesses a criminal record for physical assault or criminal acts against children."

"At some point, almost everyone makes poor choices in their personal life," district officials said. "Some of those choices impact a person's ability to perform well in their professional life. That is not the case here. Since Mr. Stiegman's employment with the district, his job performance has been above reproach. The district stand by its decision to employ Mr. Stiegman as CFO and looks forward to him continuing to work toward returning the district to financial stability."

Stiegman was a consultant to school districts from across the state before he was hired in Charleston County.

He also served as assistant superintendent of business services in Spartanburg County School District 7, assistant superintendent of finance and operations in Greenville County and the city of Greenville's finance director.

The district says Stiegman does not drive a county vehicle.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off