South Congaree votes to hire new town employee to run their office’s day-to-day operation
South Congaree, SC (Paul Kirby) - In a meeting of the South Congaree Town Council Monday night, the council voted to hire Pat Shull to run the town’s office operations. Shull held that same position in years past.
Shull is South Congaree Mayor Danny Jones’ sister. Before hiring her, Jones said that the town had asked the SC State Ethics Commission for an opinion on whether hiring his sister to work for the town was ethical. He said that they had issued that opinion in writing. Apparently, the state said that this move was fine as long as he recused himself from the discussion regarding the hiring process and Shull’s salary or compensation. When the topic came up last week, it has been reported that not only did the mayor excuse himself from the room, he left the building to prevent any appearance of impropriety. He did not take any part in the discussion or vote to hire Shull Monday night. Jones said Tuesday, although Shull was his sister, he would still act as the mayor of the town regarding the duties of Shull in her possession. “I am the mayor, and I am going continue to be the mayor as far as the relationship with Pat at the office and work. She will be treated no differently than any other employee of the town by me."
Shull has a great deal of experience in the innerworkings of the town’s daily operations. When she served in the past, she ran the town’s day-to-day business in a similar position. She was let go by a former council that was constantly at odds with each other and she filed suit against the town’s government for her dismissal in order to maintain her good name. She was said to have prevailed in that suit and the town’s insurance covered their losses. Since that time, the majority of the elected government has changed and many of the members of that council are no longer serving. The council and mayor now seem much more in tune to working together toward a common goal.
Former mayor and current council member Brian Jackson said in an interview Tuesday that he and the council are very excited about getting someone with Shull’s experience back in the position. Jackson said, “As familiar with the job and office management as Shull is, she will be a vital tool in the dynamics of this council and our mission in the future.”