2003 Opinions

December 23, 2003

Opinion questioning whether in light of the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. Section 30-4-165© (Supp. 2003) may banks take and retain a copy of a customer’s driver’s license record for internal identification purposes.

Requested by: The Honorable Bill Cotty, Member, House of Representatives

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December 23, 2003

Opinion questioning a school referendum concerning citizens who believed they were voting for the expansion of a particular school but an early childhood center is being built near an existing structure and a new principal is being named. The citizens are desirous that the current principal be over the entire educational facility.

Requested by: The Honorable Bessie Moody-Lawrence, Member, House of Representatives

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December 19, 2003

Opinion questioning whether an individual may serve as a deputy sheriff and as Commissioner of the Holly Springs Volunteer Fire District.

Requested by: The Honorable Joseph G. Mahaffey, Member, House of Representatives

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December 17, 2003

Opinion regarding several proposed town ordinances which you indicate would be useful to clean up certain areas of your town heavily affected by drugs.

Requested by: Anthony R. Staten, Chief, Saluda Police Department

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December 17, 2003

Opinion referencing the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. Section 5-7-80 which provides for ordinances relating to the upkeep of property within a municipality so as to require that the owner of municipal property keep the property free of rubbish and other unsightly material. Specifically, questioning whether such provision authorizes the city to collect the cost incurred in the same manner as the city collects delinquent municipal taxes.

Requested by: Mr. J. William Taylor, Cheraw Town Administrator

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December 17, 2003

Opinion questioning whether Fort Mill Housing Services, a nonprofit entity, should be exempt from impact fees dealing with the construction of fourteen units providing housing for persons with disabilities.

Requested by: The Honorable Greg Gregory, Senator, District No. 16

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December 15, 2003

Opinion questioning whether Section 44-1-100 of the South Carolina Code Ann. conflicts with the State Constitution by placing an elected sheriff under the control of the Director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control by requiring the sheriff to “carry out and obey his orders.”

Requested by: Jeffrey B. Moore, Executive Director, South Carolina Sheriff’s Association

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December 15, 2003

Opinion questioning whether you may receive a commission as State constable while serving as the Senior Administrative Judge for the City of Greenville.

Requested by: The Honorable Ralph E. Putnam, Senior Administrative Judge, City of Greenville

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December 15, 2003

Opinion questioning whether official action by a town council is required when an agreement is signed between two law enforcement agencies pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. Section 23-1-210 (1989).

Requested by: Richard L. Smith, Chief of Police, Fort Lawn Police Department

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December 15, 2003

Opinion questioning whether an individual may serve concurrently as a member of the Spartanburg County Commission on Higher Education or Spartanburg County Technical Education Commission and as an elected officer of a county political party.

Requested by: The Honorable Bob Walker, Chairman, Spartanburg County Legislative Delegation

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December 11, 2003

Opinion questioning whether the sheriff can give an “employee Christmas gift” equaling between zero and $400.00 based on the number of sick days the employee has used during the year.

Requested by: Nancy Bloodgood, Esquire, Employment Attorney for County of Anderson

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December 5, 2003

Opinion questioning if it is legal for OCRM to consider and grant permits for bridges to islands, whose title is presumed to be in the state, for private development and use where the permit is tantamount to be de facto conveyance of these state lands (or the use of these state lands) and the ouster of the public, without requiring that the applicant clearly and convincingly demonstrate, by means such as an attorney’s opinion and accompanying title abstract, a grant from the State or predecessor sovereign.

Requested by: The Honorable Arthur Ravenel, Jr., Senator, District No. 34

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December 3, 2003

Opinion questioning who is the code inspecting authority for certain new schools in Greenville County currently being built.

Requested by: The Honorable Mike Fair, Senator, District No. 6

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November 18, 2003

Opinion asking whether the Town of Briarcliffe Acres can legally gate and control automotive access to the Town of Briarcliffe Acres including the public roads.

Requested by: The Honorable David Parry, Mayor, Town of Briarcliffe Acres

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November 13, 2003

Opinion as to the use of what her terms “Discretionary Funds, which have been created by the County Council of Florence County.”

Requested by: The Honorable Dean Fowler, Jr, Florence County Treasurer and The Honorable Thomas E. Smith, Jr., Member, Florence County Council

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November 13, 2003

Opinion regarding “the issue of whether a Uniform Traffic Ticket [may] be used as the charging document at the time an arrest is made for the offense of Criminal Domestic Violence.”

Requested by: The Honorable Ray Nash, Sheriff, Dorchester County

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November 7, 2003

Opinion asking whether a person may concurrently be a member of the Fairfax Town Council and the Allendale County Development Board without violating the dual office holding provisions of the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: Walter H. Sanders, Jr., Esquire, Allendale County Attorney

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November 5, 2003

Opinion asking whether simultaneously holding a position on the Darlington Historical Commission and being a member of the Hartsville City Counsel would violate the prohibition on dual office holding in the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: The Honorable John L. Andrews, Member, Hartsville City Council

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November 4, 2003

Opinion asking additional questions following up on an opinion dated October 15, 2003, that was issued in response to the reduction in your salary following your appointment to the unexpired term of the clerk of court for Greenwood County.

Requested by: The Honorable Emmet F. Brooks, Clerk of Court, Greenwood County

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November 4, 2003

Opinion regarding whether a lay private guardian ad litem can also serve as a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem which is under the Governor’s Office Division of Guardian Ad Litem Programs.

Requested by: The Honorable William C. Mescher, Senator, District No. 34

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November 4, 2003

Opinion regarding an applicant for a business license, who conducts “document preparation” for real estate transactions and possibly other legal matters who is not a licensed attorney but prepares the documents at her business and then delivers the documents to one or more attorneys for review and execution.

Requested by: The Honorable Steven E. Thomas, City Administrator, City of Conway

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November 3, 2003

Opinion questioning if there is a conflict of interest for the South Carolina Volunteer Guardian ad Litem program to be under the supervision of the Foster Care Review Board, can the program fulfill its statutory mandate while under the supervision of the Foster Care Review Board and can the Governor’s office or any other entity in state government legally put the Volunteer Guardian ad Litem program under the supervision of another agency or group without legislative authority.

Requested by: The Honorable Herb Kirsh, Member, House of Representatives

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November 3, 2003

Opinion questioning if there is a conflict of interest for the South Carolina Volunteer Guardian ad Litem program to be under the supervision of the Foster Care Review Board and can the program fulfill its statutory mandate while under the supervision of the Foster Care Review Board.

Requested by: The Honorable Ted Pitts, Jr., Member, House of Representatives

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November 3, 2003

Opinion “on whether the State Board of Education (State Board) has the authority to suspend or revoke a South Carolina Educator’s certificate for violations for test security laws and regulations when no criminal conviction occurs.”

Requested by: The Honorable Inez M. Tenenbaum, State Superintendent of Education

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October 28, 2003

Opinion requesting an interpretation of S.C. Code Ann. Section 8-21-310(3)(Supp. 2002) which provides the fee to be collected by clerks of court and registers of deeds. Specifically, whether there is a fee for recording an assignment when the assignment is recorded at the same time as a mortgage dealing with the same transaction.

Requested by: Barbara T. Wasson, President, South Carolina Association of Clerks of Courts and Registers of Deeds

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October 28, 2003

Opinion asking if a bondsman who has been convicted of a felony is seeking a pardon, if pardoned could write bail bonds.

Requested by: The Honorable Joyce McDonald, Clerk of Court, Kershaw County

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October 17, 2003

Opinion “concerning the charging of the hospitality tax or ‘restaurant tax’ on the consumer.”

Requested by: The Honorable John M. Knotts, Jr., Senator, District No. 23

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October 15, 2003

Opinion asking whether violations of municipal ordinances regarding careless or negligent operation of a motor vehicle can be cited on a municipal ordinance summons ticket.

Requested by: Richard L. Smith, Chief of Police, Fort Lawn Police Department

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October 15, 2003

Opinion questioning whether a municipal ordinance specifies a particular amount of a fine for a certain violation. Specifically, if a municipal judge has the authority to change the stipulated fine.

Requested by: The Honorable N. R. Salley, Sr., Mayor, Town of Salley

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October 15, 2003

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, as the Clerk of Court for the Town of Perry, may serve simultaneously as the Utility Clerk for the Town of Wagener without violating the constitutional prohibition on dual office holding.

Requested by: Ms. Bridget Ricks, Town Clerk, Town of Perry

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October 15, 2003

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, if a patrolman for the Clemson University Police Department may serve simultaneously as a city councilman for the City of Westminister without violating the constitutional prohibition on dual office holding.

Requested by: Patrolman Christopher S. Lyle, Clemson University Police Department

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October 15, 2003

Opinion questioning whether 1985 Op. Att. Gen. No. 85-107, which indicates that a county council was not authorized to reduce the salary of an individual appointed to fill the vacancy in the office of clerk of court for the remainder of the unexpired term of office remains valid.

Requested by: The Honorable Emmet F. Brooks, Clerk of Court, Greenwood County

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October 14, 2003

Follow-up opinion regarding dual office holding issued on August 27, 2003. Specifically, Interim City Manager/Director of Public Safety for the City of Columbia and being appointed City Manager.

Requested by: Ms. Dana Turner, Administrative Advisor, City of Columbia

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October 14, 2003

Opinion asking the meaning of S.C. Code Section 59-5-10 as that section applies to the rotation among counties in a judicial circuit with respect to representation on the State Board of Education.

Requested by: The Honorable Vida O. Miller, Member, House of Representatives

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October 8, 2003

Opinion regarding the Pimlico Special Tax District (PSTD) and whether the PSTD is within its authority in transferring monies collected as fees on tax bills on private organizations such as a civic club. And whether the civic club can use tax monies obtained from the PSTD to pay legal fees resulting from litigation brought by the civic club against Pimlico residents for matters such as not cleaning ditches or erecting fences.

Requested by: The Honorable William C. Mescher, Senator, District No. 44

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October 8, 2003

Follow-up opinion concerning dual office holding previously issued on August 12, 2003. Specifically, serving on the Board of Trustees for Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and being considered for a position on the advisory committee of the federal Small Business Administration.

Requested by: The Honorable J. G. McGee, Member, S.C. House of Representatives

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October 8, 2003

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, whether a member of the State Board of Law Examiners may serve simultaneously as a member of the City of Florence Housing Authority Board without violating the constitutional prohibition on dual office holding.

Requested by: Frederick A. Hoefer, II, Esquire, Harwell, Ballenger, Barth, and Hoefer, L.L.P.

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October 6, 2003

Opinion inquiring “on the use of Accommodations Tax funds by Florence County to fund the retirement and service of debt on the Florence Civic Center.”

Requested by: Frans N. Mustert, Chairman, Tourism Expenditure Review Committee

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October 3, 2003

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, whether simultaneously holding the positions of Delinquent Tax Collector for Barnwell County and board member of the Barnwell County District 45 School Board would constitute dual office holding.

Requested by: Wendall P. Gibson, Jr., Barnwell County Treasurer

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September 23, 2003

Opinion regarding the offense of “breach of the peace”. Specifically, whether breach of the peace is a common law offense and whether it has been repealed by the General Assembly and can breach of the peace be enforced by police officers.

Requested by: The Honorable Gene Taylor, Sheriff, Anderson County

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September 23, 2003

Opinion regarding the proper use of state accommodations tax funds.

Requested by: Frans N. Mustert, Chairman, Tourism Expenditure Review Committee

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September 23, 2003

Opinion questioning whether for purposes of S.C. Code Ann. Section 12-43-220(c) (Supp. 2002), can real property owned by a corporation of LLC be classified as residential when occupied as the primary residence by the sole proprietor.

Requested by: The Honorable Chip Huggins, Member, House of Representatives

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September 17, 2003

Opinion “regarding the interpretation and application of S.C. Code Ann. Sec. 6-1-320” and “conflict between §§ (b)(4) and (3)” of § 6-1-320.

Requested by: Melvin B. McKeown, Jr., Esquire

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September 17, 2003

Opinion “regarding the possible application of a recent amendment to the South Carolina Constitution to commissioned law enforcement officers of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.”

Requested by: Paul S. League, Deputy Chief Counsel, SC Department of Natural Resources

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September 16, 2003

Opinion regarding whether the Board of Trustees of the John de la Howe School in McCormick, “under South Carolina law can continue to serve as members of the Board until successors have been appointed and found qualified to serve.”

Requested by: Mr. Ronald M. Davis, Member, Board of Trustees, John de la Howe School; Ms. Frances P. Lindler, Member, Board of Trustees, John de la Howe School; Alton T. Loftis, Ph.D., Member, Board of Trustees, John de la Howe School

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September 16, 2003

Opinion relating to McCormick County Councilperson Strom and questioning whether a change in residency can result in a vacancy in the office for District Three.

Requested by: G. P. Callison, Jr., Esquire, McCormick County Attorney

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September 15, 2003

Opinion regarding the effect of child safety restraint and seatbelt statutes in Articles 47 and 48 of Title 56 of the Code of Laws on the legality of minors who are being transported in the bed of a pickup truck.

Requested by: The Honorable Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr., Senator, District No. 31; and The Honorable Wallace B. Scarborough, Member, House of Representatives

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September 15, 2003

Opinion concerning the exceptions to the general illegality of machine gun possession in South Carolina, and the corresponding special licensing requirements that are administered by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Requested by: Norwood Church, Fiscal Analyst, SC Senate Finance Committee

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September 12, 2003

Opinion regarding vehicles tagged by law enforcement after breaking down and being abandoned on the highways.

Requested by: Jeffrey B. Moore, Executive Director, South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association

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September 12, 2003

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, asking whether simultaneously holding the positions of Mauldin Clerk of Court and Simpsonville City Council member would constitute dual office holding.

Requested by: Ms. Geneva D. Lawrence, Mauldin Clerk of Court

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September 11, 2003

Opinion “concerning an issue involving an employee of the Town who also happens to be the Municipal Judge.”

Requested by: Brian M. Gibbons, Esquire, Fort Lawn Town Attorney

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September 8, 2003

Opinion on dual office holding (serve as city attorney for the City of Aiken and as a member of the Aiken County Commission on Higher Education). Requested by Gary H. Smith, III, Esquire, Aiken City Attorney. Read full opinion.

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September 4, 2003

Opinion relating to arrests for alleged speeding violations occurring within the corporate limits of the Town of Pinewood which are detected by radar units positioned outside the town limits.

Requested by: The Honorable Daisy M. Moore, Magistrate, Sumter County

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September 4, 2003

Opinion concerning the vetoed Part 1B proviso 36.1 of the 2003-2004 Appropriations Act and “the Department of Public Safety’s position concerning charging entities, especially other state agencies, has no basis in law.”

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, President Pro Tempore, SC Senate

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September 4, 2003

Opinion concerning “the validity of the amendment § 7-13-190(E)(3) its application to [the] municipal elections for the City of Barnwell and Town of Williston…”.

Requested by: Thomas M. Boulware, Esquire

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September 3, 2003

Opinion asking, in a year of reassessment, does reducing the base student cost from $2,201 per student under the Education Finance Act (EFA) formula down to $1,643 qualify for an emergency hardship for up to 10 miles under Section (D) of Act 581.

Requested by: The Honorable Ronald P. Townsend, Member, House of Representatives

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September 2, 2003

Opinion regarding whether a person, individual, organization, association, partnership, or other entity can subdivide the beach seaward of the baseline, setback line, or landowner’s lot to the mean high-water mark of the Atlantic Ocean.

Requested by: Chris Noury, Esquire, North Myrtle Beach City Attorney

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August 29, 2003

Opinion asking whether the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) may “make a grant to the South Carolina Natural Heritage Corridor for the purpose of securing one of the Camden Tower Sheds in Charleston for the Discovery Center for Region IV of the Corridor.”

Requested by: B.J. Willoughby, General Counsel, South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism

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August 29, 2003

Opinion questioning the practice of jails charging fees, such as booking fees to cover administrative costs associated with the booking process, or a clothing fee to cover the costs associated with cleaning and replacing clothing for inmates. And the authority of a sheriff or county government that operates a jail to establish fees by policy or county ordinance to include such type items.

Requested by: Jeffrey B. Moore, Executive Director, South Carolina Sheriff’s Association

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August 29, 2003

Opinion “as to the legality of tournaments based upon contests of skill, in whatever form, in which a prize, purse, or premium, usually in the form of cash, is offered to contestants who win or place highly in the tournament.”

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, President Pro Tempore, S.C. Senate

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August 28, 2003

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, asking whether simultaneously holding positions of “city judge and magistrate in another district that is not his or hers” would constitute dual office holding.

Requested by: The Honorable J. Roland Smith, Member, House of Representatives

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August 27, 2003

Opinion asking if it would constitute dual holding for an individual to occupy the position of Interim City Manager/Director of Public Safety for the City of Columbia.

Requested by: William R. Neill, Deputy Director, Criminal Justice Academy Division, SC Department of Public Safety

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August 26, 2003

Opinion asking whether the City of Pickens can contract its victim services with the Pickens County Behavioral Health Services for the provision of victim services is authorized.

Requested by: The Honorable Ted Shehan, Mayor, City of Pickens

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August 26, 2003

Opinion questioning whether there is any legal prohibition to prevent the City of Camden from offering its employees the voluntary option of a deferred compensation plan separate from the South Carolina Deferred Compensation Plan.

Requested by: G. F. Broom, Jr., City Manager, City of Camden

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August 25, 2003

Opinion questioning the constitutionality of anonymous crime tips serving as the basis for stops and/or searches.

Requested by: The Honorable J. Seth Whipper, Member, House of Representatives

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August 22, 2003

Opinion explaining the law governing the validity of the bond referendum and the bonds issued pursuant thereto.

Requested by: The Honorable James H. Harrison, Member, House of Representatives

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August 22, 2003

Opinion asking to interpret South Carolina code sections as it pertains to a vacancy in the Solicitor’s office.

Requested by: The Honorable Walter M. Bailey, Jr., Solicitor, First Judicial Circuit

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August 20, 2003

Opinion asking our Office to review the applicable statutes of South Carolina to determine if the “equal or stricter” standard is met regarding states which have concealed weapons permit issuing standards.

Requested by: The Honorable William E. Sandifer, Member, House of Representatives

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August 20, 2003

Opinion regarding a town council member, Mr. Glenn Ross, who pled guilty to assault of a high and aggravated nature.

Requested by: Brian M. Gibbons, Esquire, Great Falls Town Attorney

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August 18, 2003

Opinion questioning whether a document, titled “Copyright Notice and Self-Executing Agreement” is a proper document for filing in the register of deeds office.

Requested by: The Honorable Judy G. Hix, Register of Deeds, County of Greenville

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August 18, 2003

Opinion questioning whether agencies funded in part by the county need an audit performed by a certified public accountant or just a financial report.

Requested by: Sammy G. Diamaduros, Esquire

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August 18, 2003

Opinion questioning whether the town council can establish an ordinance requiring residents using golf carts properly registered with the State to obtain a decal from the town that would identify the owner.

Requested by: Andy Benke, Town Administrator, Town of Sullivan’s Island

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August 12, 2003

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, a trustee for the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), can simultaneously serve on the Florence Housing Authority without violating the constitutional prohibition on dual office holding.

Requested by: The Honorable J. G. McGee, Member, House of Representatives

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August 8, 2003

Opinion concerning certain appropriations by the Anderson County Council.

Requested by: Thomas L. Martin, Esquire, Anderson County Attorney

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August 5, 2003

Opinion on the legality of the reduction of a driving under the influence charge to a reckless driving charge. Requested by Captain John M. Hall, Travelers Rest Police Department. Read full opinion.

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August 1, 2013

Opinion regarding the classification of a conviction for possession of a stolen vehicle under S.C. Code Ann. §16-21-80.

Requested by: Sergeant Peter Farrell, Central Investigations, Charleston Police Department

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July 31, 2003

Opinion concerning the Donalds-Due West Water Authority.

Requested by: The Honorable John Drummond, Senator, District No. 10; The Honorable William O’Dell, Senator, District No. 4; The Honorable Harry C. Stille, Member, House of Representatives; The Honorable Ronald P. Townsend, Member, House of Representatives; The Honorable Michael A. Pitts, Member, House of Representatives

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July 30, 2003

Opinion concerning a county council’s diversion of its victims’ services funds from an entity which possesses specific statutory duties and obligations to provide victims’ services.

Requested by: Jeffrey B. Moore, Executive Director, South Carolina Sheriff’s Association

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July 28, 2003

Opinion concerning the state constitutional prohibition of dual office holding. Specifically, an individual who is currently employed by the Charleston City Police Department has been asked to serve on the Town of Hollywood Planning and Zoning Commission.

Requested by: The Honorable Gerald Schuster, Mayor, Town of Hollywood

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July 28, 2003

Opinion asking if the City of Johnsonville, either through its Counsel or otherwise, is obligated to provide legal representation to the Mayor of the City with respect to an election contest filed by one of the Mayor’s election opponents.

Requested by: Teresa P. Hanna, Administrator, City of Johnsonville

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July 24, 2003

Opinion concerning dual office holding. Specifically, “as to whether the position of Victims’ Services Coordinator is considered an office, as it pertains to the South Carolina Constitution prohibition against dual office holding.”

Requested by: Chief Douglas W. Graffagnino, Seneca Police Department

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July 21, 2003

Opinion concerning replacing a county councilman who was involved in an automobile accident and whom is incapable of fulfilling his or her duties.

Requested by: The Honorable Jeffrey D. Duncan, Member, House of Representatives

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July 16, 2003

Opinion regarding the legality and constitutionality of the use of electronic surveillance equipment to monitor patient care in nursing homes.

Requested by: The Honorable Jackie E. Hayes, Member, House of Representatives

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July 10, 2003

Opinion concerning a municipality’s use of its Victims’ Advocate Fund for the purpose of providing services to non-crime victims.

Requested by: The Honorable Thad Viers, Member, House of Representatives

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July 10, 2003

Opinion regarding Section 54-7-100 and as to whether to return a note left by Ralph Wilbanks, one of the discoverers of the H.L. Hunley submarine, that was left at the Hunley site.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, President Pro Tempore, S.C. Senate

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July 1, 2003

Opinion asking whether the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank can deny payment to the City of Greenville under a grant to the City for the design and construction of a road system within a research and development park.

Requested by: The Honorable Daniel L. Tripp, Member, House of Representatives

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June 30, 2003

Opinion asking whether the Charleston County School District (CCSD) can impose, as a term of the lease, the provisions of the exclusive vending contract between Pepsi and CCSD under the South Carolina Charter School Act of 1996.

Requested by: The Honorable Wallace Scarborough, Member, House of Representatives

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June 25, 2003

Opinion relating to an annexation petition. Specifically, asking can the map be amended prior to the petition being submitted to the Bluffton Town Council and if the map is amended can the people who have already signed the petition ratify the modification to the map.

Requested by: Terry A. Finger, Esquire, Bluffton Town Attorney

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June 24, 2003

Opinion concerning administration of the South Carolina Centers of Economic Excellence Act (RCEE) and the matching funds requirement contained in the Act.

Requested by: Edward T. McMullen, Jr., Chairman, South Carolina Research Centers of Economic Excellence Review Board

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June 24, 2003

Opinion asking whether the State Ethics Commission has the authority to find a state statute, or any part thereof, unconstitutional and dismiss a charge against a public official as a result.

Requested by: Herbert R. Hayden, Jr., Executive Director, State Ethics Commission

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June 18, 2003

Opinion regarding the authority of municipal police officers to make arrests based on violations of federal law.

Requested by: Sergeant Bruce McMicking, York Police Department

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June 13, 2003

Opinion concerning a county’s authority to reduce the hours and compensation of magistrates during their terms of office.

Requested by: The Honorable William C. Mescher, Senator, District No. 44

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June 11, 2003

Opinion regarding the penalties for sixteen year old drivers who have received a citation for a violation of state traffic laws.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn G. Reese, Senator, District No. 11

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June 10, 2003

Opinion asking whether pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. § [4-9-620], a county can appoint an individual as Administrator and contract the individual’s services and provide payment through a contract with a corporate entity wholly owned by the individual named as Administrator, under certain conditions.

Requested by: The Honorable Sel Hemingway, Chairman, Georgetown County Council

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June 6, 2003

Opinion regarding the “…possible change of election date by the Town of Mount Pleasant along with a possible 14-month extension of term” for certain municipal officers.

Requested by: R. Allen Young, Esquire, Mount Pleasant Town Attorney

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June 5, 2003

Opinion regarding the legality of an active licensed pilot for the Port of Georgetown being appointed as a member of the Georgetown Pilotage Commission (GPC).

Requested by: Jack M. Scoville, Jr., Esquire, Georgetown County Attorney

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June 5, 2003

Opinion regarding the Highway Commission and the ability of its commissioner to serve more than one term.

Requested by: The Honorable Scott H. Richardson, Senator, District No. 46

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June 4, 2003

Opinion regarding the legality of City of Clemson traffic ordinance that covers the operation of a motor vehicle in the area of illegal U-turns.

Requested by: Jimmy Dixon, Chief of Police, Clemson Police Department

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June 3, 2003

Opinion regarding a county’s usage of surplus funds from tax levies collected on behalf of and appropriated for school districts within the county.

Requested by: The Honorable John D. Hawkins, Senator, District No. 12

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June 2, 2003

Opinion concerning whether the Town of Briarcliffe Acres may legally spend taxpayer funds for the maintenance of private property.

Requested by: The Honorable David Parry, Mayor, Town of Briarcliffe Acres

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May 28, 2003

Opinion concerning payment for Durable Medical Equipment (DME) by South Carolina’s Medicaid program.

Requested by: The Honorable George H. Bailey, Member, House of Representatives

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May 27, 2003

Opinion asking whether the Oconee County Supervisor “should be suspended with or without pay” after the Oconee County Grand Jury indicted the Supervisor on counts of embezzlement and misuse of office.

Requested by: H. Frank Ables, Vice Chair, Oconee County Council

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May 27, 2003

Opinion regarding dual office holding. Specifically, whether a position on the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Review Board that is held simultaneously with a position on the Georgetown County Election Commission, appointed by County Council, violates the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: The Honorable Vida O. Miller, Member, House of Representatives

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May 21, 2003

Opinion on whether the South Carolina Ports Authority has legal authority to terminate a license agreement with the Charleston International Ports, LLC. Requested by The Honorable James H. Merrill, Member, South Carolina House of Representatives. Read full opinion.

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May 20, 2003

Opinion asking whether or not the Joint Resolution that provides for certain military leave for permanent full –time state employees to be used for absences occurring in calendar year 2003 is retroactive so as to authorize leave benefits for military absences which occur between January 1, 2003 and April 21, 2003.

Requested by: Samuel L. Wilkins, Director, Office of Human Resources

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May 19, 2003

Opinion concerning the legality of on-duty charitable activities by employees of the St. John’s Fire District.

Requested by: Donald Howe, Esquire

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May 19, 2003

Opinion asking for clarification “…on a Driving Under the Influence point of law with regards to South Carolina Code of Law Section 56-5-2953 as to the activation of the video camera.”

Requested by: The Honorable Becky W. Gerrard, Chief Administrative Summary Court Judge, Oconee County Summary Court

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May 14, 2003

Opinion regarding Richland School District One’s purchase of properties for renovation and/or expansion of Dreher High School.

Requested by: The Honorable Leon Howard, Member, House of Representatives

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May 8, 2003

Opinion regarding the State Department of Education Regulation pertaining to the purchase of a property by a school district.

Requested by: The Honorable James H. Harrison, Member, House of Representatives

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May 7, 2003

Opinion regarding a property transfer in Laurens County. Specifically, the transfer of property commonly referred to as “back alleys” to adjoining property owners.

Requested by: The Honorable Danny Verdin, Senator, District No. 9

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May 6, 2003

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of a proposed bill concerning real estate transfer fees.

Requested by: The Honorable Bill Herbkersman, Member, House of Representatives

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May 5, 2003

Opinion concerning the legality of a particular video game machine. Specifically, the coin-operated machine called “Match Play.”

Requested by: The Honorable James H. Merrill, Member, House of Representatives

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May 5, 2003

Opinion regarding whether the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SPA) has the unilateral legal authority to terminate a license agreement that was signed in August of 1999 with Charleston International Ports, LLC (CIP).

Requested by: The Honorable James H. Merrill, Member, House of Representatives

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April 29, 2003

Opinion asking to review bill S. 203 (establishing the South Carolina Higher Education Equalization Program) for constitutionality. Specifically, whether S.203 could pass constitutional muster, particularly Article XI, § 4 of the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: The Honorable Darrell Jackson, Senator, District No. 21

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April 28, 2003

Opinion asking whether a person serving on the Central Midlands Council of Government holds an office for dual office holding purposes.

Requested by: The Honorable John M. Knotts, Jr., Senator, District No. 23

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April 24, 2003

Opinion concerning the authority of Cherokee County to acquire a supplemental water source for the County.

Requested by: The Honorable L. Hoke Parris, Chairman, Cherokee County Council

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April 21, 2003

Opinion regarding “the activation of the Oconee County Water [Authority] so that they will be in a position to be heard on critical issues concerning water management of the Lake Keowee area.”

Requested by: The Honorable Bill Sandifer, Member, House of Representatives

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April 21, 2003

Opinion regarding S.C. Code Ann. §§23-3-400 et seq., the Sex Offender Registry Act.

Requested by: The Honorable Ralph H. Hoisington, Solicitor, Ninth Judicial Circuit

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April 18, 2003

Opinion asking whether it would constitute dual office holding pursuant to the South Carolina Constitution to simultaneously hold the positions of member of the Williston District School Board and member of the Barnwell County Board of Generations Unlimited.

Requested by: J. D. Mosteller, III, Esquire, Barnwell County Attorney

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April 17, 2003

Opinion concerning the use of radar by an officer who is not certified.

Requested by: Q.B. Walters, Chief of Police, Branchville Police Department

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April 15, 2003

Opinion as to whether or not an approval of a “polling place voting functionally” satisfies the voting machine requirement of §7-13-1260, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, as amended.

Requested by: The Honorable John M. Knotts, Jr., Senator, District No. 23

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April 11, 2003

Opinion concerning service of process in civil matters. Specifically, service of process in claim and delivery actions pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§22-3-1310 et seq.

Requested by: The Honorable Thomas Ed Taylor, Summary Court Judge, Greenville County

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April 8, 2003

Opinion concerning several issues concerning Sumter County School District Two.

Requested by: William L. Hirata, Esquire, Parker Poe

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April 3, 2003

Opinion concerning the propriety of certain appointments to local boards or commissions and public service districts.

Requested by: The Honorable Ronald P. Townsend, Chairman, Education and Public Works Committee

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April 2, 2003

Opinion providing the scope of the phrase “tourism related expenditures” as defined in the Accommodations Tax statute. S.C. Code Ann. § 6-4-10(4)(b).

Requested by: The Honorable Vida Miller, Member, House of Representatives

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April 1, 2003

Opinion relating to entities known as Staff Leasing Companies (also referred to as Professional Employer Organizations). Specifically, “questions relating to subparagraph (F) of §40-68-120.”

Requested by: The Honorable James H. Harrison, Chairman, Judiciary Committee

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April 1, 2003

Opinion regarding the constitutionality of S.C. Code Ann. Section 40-82-240(A) with LPG storage capacity requirements within close proximity to the service area.

Requested by: The Honorable Glenn F. McConnell, Chairman, SC Senate Judiciary Committee

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March 26, 2003

Opinion concerning the application of S.C. Code Ann. §50-11-760.

Requested by: Officer Joe J. Ard, Law Enforcement District VIII, SC Department of Natural Resources

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March 24, 2003

Opinion concerning whether a citizen, employed in a business in any capacity other than a security guard, can make a citizen’s arrest for shoplifting.

Requested by: The Honorable B. Lee Miller, Municipal Court Judge, City of Greenwood

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May 21, 2003

Opinion relating to “current rules for paralegal services as a standalone business.” Specifically, “[a]re independent paralegals when retained by an attorney on a project-to-project basis independent contractors or part time employees of the attorney?”

Requested by: The Honorable Robert E. Walker, Member, House of Representatives

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March 21, 2003

Opinion asking for “clarification of the ‘Home Rule’ law passed by the General Assembly in the mid-1980s. Specifically, if it give counties the authority to regulate the use of fireworks.”

Requested by: The Honorable Wallace B. Scarborough, Member, House of Representatives

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March 19, 2003

Opinion regarding dual office holding. Specifically, an individual who has been appointed by Hampton County Council to the Hampton County Economic Development Board is also seeking appointment by Hampton County Council to the Lowcountry Work Force Investment Board.

Requested by: A. G. Solomons, Jr., Esquire, Hampton County Attorney

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March 19, 2003

Opinion concerning the enhancement of punishment for second offense driving under the influence (DUI) convictions.

Requested by: The Honorable B. Lee Miller, Municipal Court Judge, City of Greenwood

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March 19, 2003

Opinion concerning the effect of a temporary proviso on an inconsistent general law. Specifically, S.C. Act No. 154 that reformed the private passenger automobile insurance delivery system in this state. The Act created to §38-77-151, a special fund known as the Uninsured Motorist Fund.

Requested by: Gwendolyn L. Fuller, Deputy Director & General Counsel, South Carolina Department of Insurance

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March 18, 2003

Opinion regarding the recent ruling by the Honorable James Johnson in the case of Owings v. Hodges, 2002-CP-24-1136.

Requested by: The Honorable Michael A. Pitts, Member, House of Representatives

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March 13, 2003

Opinion asking “whether or not it would violate the dual office holding prohibition of the South Carolina Constitution for a CPW Commissioner to also serve as a member of the GLEAMNS Commission.”

Requested by: William B. Patrick, Jr., Esquire

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March 12, 2003

Opinion asking if the Clinton Newberry Natural Gas Authority is an agency of South Carolina and if serving on the board of the authority violates the dual office prohibition when the board is composed of the following members: Clinton Mayor, Newberry Mayor, two Clinton City Council Members, and two Newberry City Council Members.

Requested by: Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer, Office of the Lieutenant Governor

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March 10, 2003

Opinion regarding the authority for Coastal Carolina University (“CCU”) to issue replacement diplomas for those persons who graduated prior to July 1, 1993.

Requested by: Edgar Dyer, University Counsel, Coastal Carolina University

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March 4, 2003

Opinion “as to whether the current method by which the General Assembly elects in joint session is constitutional.”

Requested by: The Honorable Scott H. Richardson, Senator, District No. 46

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February 28, 2003

Opinion concerning the legality of carrying a firearm while operating a motorcycle.

Requested by: The Honorable Danny Verdin, Senator, District No. 9

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February 26, 2003

Opinion regarding potential dual office holding when two individuals (one candidate who presently serves as a publicly elected official of the James Island Public Service District, and the other as the city’s fire chief), can continue in their present positions and simultaneously serve on the James Island Charter High School Board of Directors.

Requested by: Nancy B. Gregory, Ed.D.; Mr. Robert New, James Island Charter High School Committee

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February 26, 2003

Opinion regarding the legality of a member of Lexington County Council serving as advisor to the Lexington County Joint Water and Sewer Commission.

Requested by: Jeff M. Anderson, Esquire, Lexington County Attorney

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February 21, 2003

Opinion concerning certain expenditures of public funds by employees and/or officials of Saluda County. Specifically, if the expenditures relate to reimbursements for travel and other expenses, inaccurate use of contract proceeds received by the County, and nepotism.

Requested by: Sandra G. Padget, Saluda County Director

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February 21, 2003

Opinion concerning whether the use of public funds to purchase water coolers for South Carolina State University’s (SCSU’s) employees constitutes a proper expenditure.

Requested by: Ms. Belinda Davis-Branch, General Counsel, South Carolina State University

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February 19, 2003

Opinion concerning the possible dissolution of the Inman Mills Water District and/or its take-over by another water district, possibly the Inman-Campobello Water District.

Requested by: The Honorable Ralph Davenport, Member, House of Representatives

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February 18, 2003

Opinion regarding the legal and constitutional status of the Hunley Commission.

Requested by: The Honorable William C. Mescher, Senator, District No. 44

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February 14, 2003

Opinion regarding the propriety of Ms. Diane D. Lauritsen’s intention to seek appointment to the Mount Pleasant Open Space Foundation.

Requested by: R. Allen Young, Esquire, Mount Pleasant Town Attorney

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February 13, 2003

Opinion concerning the installation of neon colored lights on motor vehicles.

Requested by: Richard L. Pearce, Esquire, Aiken City Solicitor

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February 12, 2003

Opinion concerning the application of S.C. Code Ann. §12-37-251. Specifically, asking whether the Cherokee Springs Fire District “…can collect millage under …[12-37-251] and in this manner?”

Requested by: Patrick Murray, Fire Chief, Cherokee Springs Fire District

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January 15, 2003

Opinion asking whether a person who is a member of the Town of Hilton Head’s Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee and is also a member of the State Tourism Expenditure Review Committee constitutes dual office holding in contravention of Article XVII, Sec. 1A of the South Carolina Constitution.

Requested by: Gregory D. DeLoach, Esquire, Assistant Town Manager for Administration/ Legal Department Director, Town of Hilton Head Island

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January 10, 2003

Opinion regarding the re-appointment of a magistrate whose term is set to expire April 30, 2003.

Requested by: The Honorable André Bauer, Senator, District No. 18

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January 7, 2003

Opinion asking “as to the legality of a certain provision of H. 4879 (The Budget Proviso Codification Bill) which relates to distribution of state lottery funds to private educational institutions.”

Requested by: The Honorable John Graham Altman, III, Member, House of Representatives

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January 6, 2003

Opinion regarding the State Board of Education’s adoption of a uniform state date(s) for public schools.

Requested by: The Honorable Ronald P. Townsend, Chairman, Anderson County Legislative Delegation

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January 3, 2003

Opinion on legality of Section 26-143 of the Municipal Code of The Town of Sough Congaree (Illegal Drugs or Controlled Substances). Requested by The Honorable John M. Knotts, Jr., Member, South Carolina Senate. Read full opinion.  

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

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