Mr. Scott Malyerck is becoming something of a contentious person of interest in the already contentious race for South Carolina State Treasurer.
Mr. Malyerck is Deputy to State Treasurer Converse Chellis at a salary of $117,160.
Mr. Malyerck also appears to have campaigned for his boss, Secretary Chellis at a number of campaign events either with (as a driver) or on the behalf of the Secretary.
This is in direct violation of the South Carolina State Ethics Commission “Rules of Conduct:”
No person may use government personnel, equipment, materials, or an office building in an election campaign. A person may use public facilities for a campaign purposes if they are available on similar terms to all candidates and committees. Likewise, government personnel may participate in election campaign on their own time and on non-government premises. [emphasis added]
It matters not if Mr. Malyerck was “on his own time,” he is still a state employee. The violation, then, would not be his, per the last sentence in the above paragraph, but Secretary Chellis’. The Secretary is clearly using government personnel – and a subordinate at that – in his election campaign.
It might be argued that Mr. Malyerck’s appearance at the Lexington County Republican meeting last week, at which Mr. Curtis Loftis – who is running against Chellis for the Republican nomination for Treasurer – also spoke, was in his official capacity to respond to charges about fiscal mismanagement and not to campaign.
If so, his representation of the Secretary and the Office of the Treasurer was reprehensible. As a campaigner, it is less than marginally acceptable to call the opponent a “liar,” as Mr. Malyerck did referring to Mr. Loftis. But it is completely unacceptable for a state employee to denigrate a public figure and citizen in such a manner, especially in public.
IF Mr. Malyerck was at the meeting on behalf of the Secretary and the Office of the Treasurer, in the very least, both Mr. Malyerck and Secretary Chellis owe Mr. Loftis, the folks at the gathering and the general public an apology for conduct unbecoming an officer of the state.
So, either a public apology is in order, or the Secretary of the Treasury is in violation of state ethics rules.
In pursuing the contention that Secretary Chellis used public funds to promote himself via advertisements for the “Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan” and questions about the Secretary’s purchase of an SUV as his official vehicle, Mr. Loftis submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
Curiously, Mr. Malyerck himself responded to Mr. Loftis’ request saying that “we have already provided most of the information” Mr. Loftis requested. This is curious because (1) “Most?” Why not all? (2) Mr. Malyerck is not an attorney and (3) Mr. Malyerck is the subject of some of the information sought by the FOIA. Clearly, this is a conflict of interest, if not worse.
In a response to the Malyerck letter, Mr. Loftis appealed to the State Treasurer’s Records Officer, saying, in part:
Some of the documents I requested refer to electronic communications involving Scott Malyerck. I find it to be a clear conflict of interest for the person who is the subject of the FOIA request to be the state employee assigned to respond. I also find it disconcerting that Mr. Malyerck would be the one responding to my request given the fact that he is not an attorney. In the past, Mr. Frank Rainwater, STO’s legal counsel has responded to my requests. Why, now, would a non-attorney who has a clear conflict of interest be assigned to respond to my FOIA request when the taxpayers of this state pay for the Treasurer to have legal counsel? This is a clear case of a state employee taking on a task for which he does not have adequate training and qualifications, nor an understanding of what the law requires.
The Office of the State Treasurer under Secretary Chellis has plenty of … “problems” without Scott Malyerck inflaming things. But, in the end, this isn’t about the Deputy State Treasurer, it’s about the Treasurer himself, Secretary Converse Chellis.
The range of complaints about the Secretary range from malfeasance to misfeasance, to misappropriation of funds, conduct unbecoming an officer of the state, mismanagement, conflict of interest and betrayal of the public trust. He is responsible for his own actions, the actions of the Office and those that work in that organization.
This is NOT the public servant South Carolinians deserve and he should not be the steward of the state’s treasury.
His supporters contend that Converse Chellis is highly qualified to be elected to the position given him by the General Assembly. But, as the Roman statesman, Cicero, said: “Ability without honor is useless.”