This is what we know. The Education Reporter was published by Positive Voices for District 5 Success. The address listed as 7320 Broad River Road, Suite K-225, Irmo, SC 29063 is at a UPS Store. The owner of K-225 is someone with the last name of White. Incorporation papers were filled on 9/22/2020 with SC Secretary of State by Erik Norton an attorney with Harrell, Martin and Peace, P.A. of Chapin. Prior to coming on board with the HMP, earlier this year Norton was employed by Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough, LLP, the Columbia law firm where Ed White is a partner.
Candidate April Alsup has stated in SC Ethics Commission filings that she has accepted donations from Nelson, Mullins, Riley and Scarborough.
In the fake newspaper article, false statements are made about me and Loveless Commercial Contracting, Inc. (LCC), the 35 year old construction contracting firm at which I am employed as President. Ed White knows that they are false because at the September 14,2020 school board meeting he heard me defend against those statements. At that meeting, board members Ed White, Beth Hutchison, Michael Cates and Robert Gantt participated in a well orchestrated smear session that went far beyond norms. In that meeting Greg Hughes of Contract Construction, Inc. was asked questions by White which he answered without any knowledge of the facts. Board members Hutchison and White propagated these untruths by repeating them and chastising me as having committed ethics violations. Gantt chimed in and Cates supervised as board chair allowing it to happen. Greg Hughes stated misleadingly that Loveless Commercial Contracting, Inc. has a contract with Contract Construction, Inc. for $1,250,000.00 on the SLED Laboratory Addition, a state project. He went on to say that falsely that Loveless’ profit margin was 10%, a closely held proprietary fact of which he had no knowledge. Beth Hutchison repeated both of those untruths as if she had personal knowledge of their veracities saying that it was the “height of hypocrisy” for me to sit there while taking money from a contractor with whom the District is doing business. I repeatedly asked Hughes if I had been involved in any way with the bids or the contracts or the construction at the SLED project. He said ’NO’, that it had all been handled by an employee at LCC.
White in his role as mock prosecutor questioned Hughes about a supposed discussion with Hughes that occurred on the Piney Woods Elementary School property at my one and only visit to the site with the board on June 24,2020. Hughes falsely said that I had initiated a conversation about other construction projects. I did not. It was Hughes who initiated the conversation with me. White said at the September
14, 2020 board meeting that” I had put the business of the people on the street”. These are patently false and accusatory statements that White should have known were untrue. I repeatedly asked Greg Hughes in his opinion what I had done wrong at that meeting and he said I had done “Nothing” wrong.
I had earlier in March 2020 asked for access to the site concerning construction defects at Piney Woods Elementary School. The District denied my requests saying that I could not visit the site. I had requested to visit with the District’s Project Representative who after the September 14,2020 board meeting terminated his contract with the District. I further asked for a list of documents from the District. I was denied access to the documents with the District saying that the documents which exist could not be given to me because of the specious argument that were kept by the contractor, Contract Construction, Inc. and therefore were not in the possession of the District. I obtained the concrete delivery tickets from Pete Knight of Knight’s Redi-Mix, one of the concrete suppliers for the project. I stated to Knight at
the time that I would protect him as my source. I did so but Ed White through Contract Construction, Inc. had a letter from Knight which stated that he gave me the documents.
The documents helped me prove that nonconforming, defective concrete which was not field tested as the specifications dictate was in fact incorporated into a District 5 project. Knight’s was asked by Contract Construction, Inc. to do in-place testing. The contractor is charged with correcting the situation under the terms of the contract. Hughes and Gantt at the September 14,2020 board meeting in attempts to discredit me repeatedly stated that the testing cost Knight’s $30,000.00 to $35,000.00 which was patently false. In a telephone conversation after the meeting Pete Knight said that he had received two invoices, one for $1,800.00 and one for $900.00 for a total of $2,700.00. Someone needs to check where the remaining balance of the $30,000.00 to $35,000.00 was charged because the District’s Project Representative terminated his contract with District after that meeting.
Now, here are the recorded facts:
At the December 10, 2018 board meeting Jan Hammond introduced a motion to delay construction at the Amick’s Ferry site until building at the Derricks Pond site could be explored. I voted “YES” to that motion. At the same meeting I vote “NO” to the motion to approve Contract Construction, Inc. as Construction Manager at Risk at Amick’s Ferry. I also vote “NO” to approve $30 million in 8% bonds to build Amick’s Ferry.
At the September 9,2019 board meeting I introduced and voted “YES” to a motion to have discussions about the Early Site Work GMP at Elementary School #13 done in open session and not executive session. Further, I voted “NO” to the motion that Contract Construction’s early site work GMP be approved.
At the December 9,2019 board meeting I introduced and voted “YES” to restrict the Construction Manager at Risk’s contract amount to the lesser of $30 million in total costs of the 8% bonds approved at the December 10,2018 meeting or the original architect’s budget of $24 million. I also voted “NO” to the Construction Manager at Risk… Contract Construction, Inc.’s Guaranteed Maximum Price for the building construction.
The date the Contract for Construction was received for review for SLED Forensic Services Laboratory by Loveless Commercial Contracting, Inc. from Contract Construction, Inc… February 11, 2020. This document is included in the board meeting minutes for the September 28,2020 board meeting shown under the October 12,2020 meeting.
The date the Contract for Construction was returned executed by Contract Construction, Inc. for the SLED Forensic Services Laboratory… March 12,2020. This document is included in the board meeting minutes for the September 28,2020 board meeting shown under the October 12,2020 meeting.
The date the SC Ethics Commission letter to me … September 25,2020… which states ”This means whenever you are faced with a scenario in the which the general contractor has an economic interest, you must recuse yourself from the matter following the instructions in Section 8-13-700(B). There is no outright prohibition against Loveless Construction performing work for this general contractor, rather, Section 8-13-700(B) must be followed in instances where the general contractor has an economic interest.” This document is included in the board meeting minutes for the September 28,2020 board meeting shown under the October 12,2020 meeting.
Clearly, I did not vote on anything concerning Contract Construction, Inc. at the time Loveless Contracting, Inc. had an economic interest.
I want to make sure the taxpayers get their money’s worth in construction work. Ed White and the Core 4 opposes me.
Most importantly, I voted contrary to the wishes of Contract Construction, Inc. consistently seven times. I and Loveless Commercial Contracting, Inc. have been falsely accused.