CCSD HR chief still on the job despite blunder in pedophile case

CCSD HR chief still on the job despite blunder in pedophile case
August 31 17:44 2018 Print This Article

A recent investigative report by Live 5 News reporter Carter Coyle revealed that former Charleston County School District (CCSD) employee Marvin Gethers was flagged by the district’s Information Technology (IT) department in January 2014 for having child pornography images on his office computer. Coyle’s report noted that no personnel action was take against Gethers and that he was even promoted from student concern specialist to parent advocate at Dunston Elementary School after being flagged by IT. The Chief Human Relations Officer for the district at the time of the incident, Bill Briggman, is still serving in that capacity.

Coyle reported that CCSD turned over Gethers’ computer in March 2014 and that it was transferred to Charleston County Sheriff’s Office for a forensic evaluation. North Charleston Police Department (NCPD) received reports of child molestation by Gethers in the second half of 2015, and Gethers was arrested in January 2016 by NCPD and was fired by CCSD a day later. The arrest warrant stated that there will multiple images on Gethers’ computer showing adults performing sex acts on children. Gethers died in 2017 while awaiting trial.

Charleston County School Board member Chris Collins told Lowcountry Source that the full school board was never informed of the Gethers case until the arrest was made, two years after he was flagged by IT. Collins contends that Chairwoman Cindy Coats likely knew about the situation shortly after the suspicion arose and never informed the full school board. Collins said of Coats, “She had to know. The Chairwoman spoke with the Superintendent (Nancy McGinley at the time) every day and should have shared it with the board.” Lowcountry Source cannot verify what Coats knew at the time. What is known is that no action was taken against Briggman and other personnel officials after the details were made public in 2016.

Current CCSD Superintendent Gerrita Postlewait took office in November 2015. Coats, Collins, Eric Mack, current Chairwoman Kate Darby, Chris Staubes, Michael Miller, and Todd Garrett were all serving on the school board at the time of Gethers’ arrest. Coats, Mack and Darby are all standing for re-election in November.

Addendum:  Lowcountry Source received the following email from Erica Taylor, the CCSD Chief Strategy and Communications Office:

In 2014, Mr. Briggman was not the Chief HR Officer. At that time, Office of Employee Relations, which manages employee matters, was a stand alone office that reported to the Deputy of Human Capital Development.
 
In the Fall of 2016, Mr. Briggman was named Chief HR Officer when his duties expanded, including oversight for the Office of Employee Relations.
 
On January 21, 2016, Mr. Geathers was immediately placed on administrative leave once District Officials were made aware of his January 20, 2016 arrest. 

Mr. Geathers was terminated on January 22, 2016.

To my knowledge, in 2014 Board Members were not made aware of any incident involving Mr. Geathers.

The employees that were the Director of Employee Relations and the Deputy for Human Capital Development are no longer employed with CCSD; and we have no knowledge of what they were aware of.