If you have been accused of a crime, the only thing standing between your continued freedom and harsh legal penalties is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in Rock Hill, SC. That may seem harsh, but in this time of turmoil and uncertainty, having a skilled and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side is key. Because the truth is that dealing with legal charges in Rock Hill can be a highly distressing ordeal, with even minor violations causing a considerable impact on an individual's personal and work life. The repercussions of having a criminal record can be severe, leading to loss of employment, severed relationships, and even alienation from loved ones.
At Theos Law Firm, we offer trustworthy legal representation to those who need it most. Our criminal defense team has years of experience and is committed to ensuring our clients maintain their freedom and can move forward with their lives. From handling drug-related charges to more nuanced federal cases and sexual misconduct offenses, we take a personalized approach to every case. By utilizing cutting-edge legal strategies and decades of combined experience, we have a much better opportunity to achieve the best possible client outcomes.
We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:
If you are facing one or more of the charges above, it's imperative that you establish contact with a legal advocate ASAP. At Theos Law, you can rest easy knowing our phone line is always open. When your future is up for grabs, let our team of criminal defense lawyers fight for your rights. It all starts with a free consultation at our law firm in Rock Hill, where we'll educate you on the particulars of the charges you're facing and explain the next steps ahead.
At this point, you probably have many questions in mind. Keep reading for more information on criminal law in South Carolina and some of our criminal defense specialties at Theos Law.
In South Carolina, criminal cases are classified into different categories based on the severity of the crime. Generally speaking, offenses that carry a maximum sentence of three years or less are categorized as misdemeanors. On the other hand, crimes that carry a punishment of more than three years in prison are generally classified as felonies.
Crimes in The Palmetto State are usually split into two categories: state crimes and federal crimes. Classifications are based on whether a crime violates state laws or federal laws. Ultimately, it's up to the prosecutor to decide which category to pursue charges under. State crimes generally include assault, robbery, domestic violence, theft, and rape. Federal crimes, on the other hand, may be more complex and can include computer crime, major drug trafficking, hate crimes, and money laundering. These types of crimes are often investigated by agencies like the FBI or IRS.
Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime can be challenging for someone facing their first charge. Misdemeanors are generally considered minor offenses, resulting in fines or a short stay in a local county jail. Trials and plea deals for these cases move quickly due to their nature.
Conversely, felonies are more severe crimes classified by degrees, with first-degree being the most severe and sixth-degree being the least. Those charged with a felony may face significant fines and a prison sentence of over a year in a federal or state institution. Convicted felons may face difficulties after their release, making it crucial to have a reliable criminal defense attorney in Rock Hill, SC.
It is not uncommon for legal cases to be resolved outside of court through a plea deal. This allows the defendant to acknowledge their guilt on one or more charges without the need for a trial. Both your criminal defense lawyer and the prosecutor collaborate to come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement, which helps avoid the uncertainties and dangers of a trial. By accepting a plea deal, you may receive a lighter sentence and avoid the anxiety that comes with a lengthy legal battle.
At Theos Law Firm, we often receive questions from potential clients about when they should hire a criminal defense attorney for the charges that they're facing. Although each situation and client are unique, there are some common criminal situations to keep in mind. In general, it's always best to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you're charged or have been arrested.
Below are some guidelines to help you decide when it's necessary to retain a criminal defense attorney for your case in South Carolina.
Thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer when you're charged with a crime is a no-brainer for most, and for good reason. A defense lawyer can offer assistance with various offenses, ranging from minor crimes like retail theft and cyberstalking to more serious ones such as sexual assault and manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, navigating the legal system can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the situation can escalate rapidly.
As you may have observed in movies or television shows, the police might request you to provide a statement, giving the impression that you are not under arrest. If they suspect you of committing a crime but lack sufficient evidence to detain you, they may aim to put you at ease and elicit information that can be used against you. Remember, it is within your rights to have a criminal defense attorney in Rock Hill, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage.
In the event that law enforcement officers arrive at your residence with a warrant, it indicates that a judge has determined there is reasonable suspicion that evidence related to a criminal offense is present in your home. Regardless of whether they discover and confiscate anything, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a seasoned defense attorney to discuss the situation and receive assistance in determining any potential charges or locations they may investigate in the future.
Could you imagine being accused of something you didn't do? When law enforcement, a judge, or a prosecutor accuses you of committing a crime that you didn't do, it can be an arduous task to prove your innocence, especially if you have a prior record. It can also feel hopeless and like it's impossible for you to get someone to listen to your side. The truth is that your past mistakes should not be used against you. To increase your chances of being cleared of charges, it's advisable to have a defense lawyer who can support your innocence and fight for your rights. Criminal defense attorneys at Theos Law don't just listen - we act swiftly and always with your best interests at heart.
The legal system for juveniles in South Carolina is different than it is for adults. It comes with its own complications and hurdles to overcome. If you think or know that your child has been accused of a crime, it's imperative to get legal counsel swiftly. Failure to do so could ruin their life or result in a longer-than-needed jail sentence.
Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the most common criminal defense cases we accept at Theos Law Firm.
In terms of common criminal offenses in South Carolina, DUIs top the list, especially regarding mindful drivers with clean driving records and no criminal history. Unfortunately for these drivers, a DUI conviction in South Carolina stays on your record and cannot be expunged. Even first-time offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be costly. Your insurance premiums go up for years, you may end up paying almost $1,000 in fines and fees, and there's a good chance you'll have to perform community service or serve jail time.
If your breathalyzer test result is more than .15%, you refuse the breathalyzer, or it is recorded as a refusal, your license will be automatically suspended, which complicates matters further. Throw in the possibility of interlock device rental, and your life may never be the same. For those reasons alone, it is crucial to approach such charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. At Theos Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience in successfully fighting these types of charges.
Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, there is hope. That's especially true if the accused has undergone a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve such tests are successfully beaten every day. At Theos Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your DUI case in Rock Hill and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.
To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in Rock Hill, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:
If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in Rock Hill or another city in South Carolina, it is crucial for you to understand the potential penalties involved. Possession of a controlled substance may fall under the category of a misdemeanor, but many drug offenses are considered felonies. Even a minor drug offense conviction can result in long-lasting negative consequences. As such, it's always advisable to explore your options and seek the assistance of a Rock Hill drug crime attorney. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help safeguard your rights and may help achieve a favorable outcome.
One of the most frequent questions we hear at Theos Law is, "What does possession mean?â
Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:
However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:
Possession-based drug charges in South Carolina are deemed "graduated offenses" with penalties that grow more severe based on the weight of the drugs. It's important to note that the charges can be based on either actual or constructive possession. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in Rock Hill, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in Rock Hill and other cities in South Carolina.
Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:
The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes.â Drug paraphernalia can refer to various items such as pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, grinders, and rolling papers which are linked to drug usage, preparation, storage, or hiding. Even though some of these items may have legitimate uses, like tobacco pipes or medical syringes, they can still be scrutinized by law enforcement if there is proof of illegal drug use or intent.
If you are facing assault and battery charges, it is possible that you haven't actually physically harmed someone. Many people associate assault and battery with brutal beatings, but that is just one example. There are other situations that are less severe than what people typically imagine.
It's a common misunderstanding that physical injury is required for assault and battery charges. The fines, penalties, and jail time you may face depend on the severity of your charges and the number of offenses. Regardless of the degree of your charges, Assault and Battery is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing, and as such, your criminal defense lawyer in Rock Hill, SC, should work relentlessly to fight the charges being levied against you.
Though this list isn't comprehensive, here are some of the biggest factors that dictate the severity of your assault and battery charges:
Causing harm to someone or threatening to do so with the ability to carry out the threat can result in a charge of third-degree assault and battery. This misdemeanor offense is typically heard in municipal or magistrate courts and may carry a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.
Causing harm or making threats to harm someone that results in moderate bodily injury can lead to charges of second-degree assault and battery. Additionally, touching someone's private parts without their consent can also result in charges of assault and battery in the second degree. This misdemeanor offense is heard in General Session court and can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Assault and Battery in the first degree can involve a number of actions such as inflicting an unlawful injury when kidnapping, touching a person's privates "with lewd and lascivious intent,â and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.
At Theos Law firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that our client's rights are not overlooked. Because unfortunately, the rights of everyday citizens are often trampled by law enforcement oversights and legal system failures.
That's why every criminal defense lawyer at our firm works hard to provide guidance and support throughout the legal process by keeping you informed of updates and as comfortable as possible during this trying time. Benefits of hiring Theos Law Firm include:
Unlike some criminal defense law firms in South Carolina, our team believes that everyone deserves a great lawyer when their freedoms are on the line. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in South Carolina, trust Theos Law to have your back without judgment.
As holiday season approaches, Todd Leahy is on the lookout for game-changing gifts. Gifts that will lead to a new present for all of Rock Hill, once the city opens it.Leahy is executive director of The Arts Center at Fountain Park, a planned $40 million performing arts center downtown.“Our goal, our vision,” he said, “is to be the premier destination for performing arts in this region in an active community space, that will inspire gene...
As holiday season approaches, Todd Leahy is on the lookout for game-changing gifts. Gifts that will lead to a new present for all of Rock Hill, once the city opens it.
Leahy is executive director of The Arts Center at Fountain Park, a planned $40 million performing arts center downtown.
“Our goal, our vision,” he said, “is to be the premier destination for performing arts in this region in an active community space, that will inspire generations to come.”
Leahy’s group has a site. They have schematics. They have a working schedule that could have the 520-seat performing arts center operational by the 2026 holiday season.
“Ideally we would love to have shovels in the ground by the end of 2024,” Leahy said.
The biggest factor for when the new arts center will open, Leahy said, is the high-level “game-changing gifts” his group needs to secure as it moves from a quieter phase this year to a more public one in 2024. Leahy told the Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation board at its October meeting the arts center likely will receive state funding and individual support, but it also will rely on area business.
“These things do not happen without contributions from the business community,” Leahy said.
He said it’s too early to say what state funding might be available for the project, and didn’t note specific fundraising targets with the economic development group.
Stand on the southern end of Fountain Park and look across Black Street. Properties there bounded by Black, Saluda Street, Elizabeth Lane and Flint Street make a block across from and about the size of Fountain Park itself. A smaller piece beyond Flint tapers to the intersection of Saluda and Elizabeth.
That’s the area where the new arts center will go.
The portion north of Flint is a mix of property owned by Comporium and the city of Rock Hill. Six properties combine for almost 2 acres. The smaller portion south of Flint includes two properties owned by Fountain Park Realty. That entity has the same business address as Comporium.
Leahy offers comparables like the Peace Center in Greenville or the Chapman Cultural Center in Spartanburg. The Peace Center redefined downtown Greenville decades ago and now gets 350,000 visitors per year, Leahy said, while pumping $120 million into its local economy.
Chapman Cultural Center opened in 2007 and gets 200,000 annual visitors, Leahy said, with a $32 million local impact.
Both projects received significant state funding to get started, Leahy said, and ongoing state funding in some cases. Leahy also looks north, not for the comparable but at the Blumenthal family of arts venues in Charlotte that bring in millions of dollars from York County guests.
“We’re hoping to keep some of that money right here,” Leahy said.
Leahy said the local arts community in York County is a roughly $27 million industry. There are symphony, blues and jazz festival, stage shows and other activities locally. The new performing arts center could become an economic engine for the community.
“Many people are moving to Charlotte,” Leahy said. “They’re choosing to live in Rock Hill.
“People want to move to this area, and they’re used to having these kinds of facilities where they’re moving from. They want that for Rock Hill, too.”
Leahy points to the more than 80,000 students from kindergarten to college on the South Carolina side of the state line.
“Many of those school groups have to go up to Charlotte to expose their students to the arts,” Leahy said. “We want to offer an opportunity right here in the local community to do that.”
Planners recently completed a schematic phase for the new facility. The group recently issued a request for proposals to bring construction costs into better focus.
The vision is a theater that can have dance, symphony, concerts, a film series and other events.
“Everything that people go to Blumenthal for right now, will be here,” Leahy said.
A grand lobby also will serve as a public gathering space. Galas and events could be held there throughout the year. Green rooms and space for artists could double as space for business meetings during the day.
“We want this to be a thriving center at all times during the day,” Leahy said.
A venue on the scale of what Leahy pitches would draw considerable interest from artists, he said. Upcoming events at the Peace Center, for instance, range from LeAnn Rimes, Babyface, David Foster with Katharine McPhee, Sarah Brightman and Itzhak Perlman performances to plays, step shows, comedies and a presentation by Neil Degrasse Tyson.
“We will attract the very best to come to this community,” Leahy said.
The coming year will be big for planners as they spread the word about the major performing arts project. For a venue that will bring headlining plays to the area, Leahy gave the business community here a challenge.
“The time to act is now,” he said.
John Marks graduated from Furman University in 2004 and joined the Herald in 2005. He covers community growth, municipalities, transportation and education mainly in York County and Lancaster County. The Fort Mill native earned dozens of South Carolina Press Association awards and multiple McClatchy President’s Awards for news coverage in Fort Mill and Lake Wylie.
Rock Hill, S.C. — Marcus & Millichap has brokered the $6.3 million sale of a single-tenant property located in Rock Hill. Walgreens occupies the 14,550-square-foot building on a triple-net-lease basis. Andrew Margulies, Harrison Creason and John Berger of Marcus & Millichap secured the buyer, and Dean Giannakopoulos of Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. arranged acquisition financing. Zosime was the seller. 0 West Valley City, Utah — X Development and Midloch Investment P...
Rock Hill, S.C. — Marcus & Millichap has brokered the $6.3 million sale of a single-tenant property located in Rock Hill. Walgreens occupies the 14,550-square-foot building on a triple-net-lease basis. Andrew Margulies, Harrison Creason and John Berger of Marcus & Millichap secured the buyer, and Dean Giannakopoulos of Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp. arranged acquisition financing. Zosime was the seller.
West Valley City, Utah — X Development and Midloch Investment Partners have acquired Highbury at Lake Park, a 119,366-square-foot retail center in West Valley City, a suburb of Salt Lake City. An undisclosed seller sold the property for $30 million. Tenants at the center include Target, Bank of America, Xfinity, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Marshalls and Café Rio. Kip Paul of Cushman & Wakefield brokered the transaction, and America First Credit Union provided acquisition financing. Midloch is a preferred equity investor in the property, which is the firm’s first investment in the Salt Lake City market.
San Diego and Dallas — Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O) and Spirit Realty Capital Inc. (NYSE: SRC) have entered into an all-stock merger agreement valued at $9.3 billion. The combined company, which will operate under the Realty Income banner, is expected to become the fourth largest REIT on the S&P 500 index with a total enterprise value of $63 billion.
Both companies primarily invest in freestanding, net-leased commercial properties. Realty Income boasts a portfolio of 13,100 properties located across the U.S. and Europe, and Spirit Realty owns a portfolio of 2,064 properties across 49 states.
Primary tenants across the combined company’s portfolio include Life Time Fitness, BJ’s Wholesale Club, At Home, Dave & Buster’s, Dollar Tree, The Home Depot, Treasury Wine Estates, Sainsbury’s, 7-Eleven, Lowe’s and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Under terms of the agreement, each share of Spirit Realty Capital will be converted into 0.762 of a share of newly issued Realty Income stock. At closing, this will result in Realty Income and Spirit owning 87 percent and 13 percent of the combined company, respectively. No external capital is currently being used for the transaction.
Realty Income and Spirit cite the potential for higher earnings, a more competitive cost of capital and broader tenant diversification as key drivers for the merger. “Spirit’s assets are highly complementary to our existing portfolio, extending our investments in industries that have proven to generate durable cash flows over several economic cycles,” says Sumit Roy, Realty Income’s president and CEO.
The merger is subject to closing conditions, including approval by Spirit shareholders, and is scheduled for completion in 2024.
Wells Fargo served as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins is acting as legal advisor to Realty Income. J.P. Morgan Securities and Morgan Stanley & Co. are serving as financial advisors and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is acting as legal advisor to Spirit.
San Diego-based Realty Income’s stock price closed at $46.22 per share on Monday, Oct. 30, down from $59.46 one year ago. Dallas-based Spirit Realty Capital’s stock price closed at $34.89 per share on Monday, Oct. 30, down from $36.16 one year ago.
Almost a dozen communities across the Rock Hill region will choose mayors next week, along with dozens of city or town council candidates.Election day is Nov. 7. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across the region. Details are available at county voter registration offices or at scvotes.org. All races next week are nonpartisan. Only county council seats in the reg...
Almost a dozen communities across the Rock Hill region will choose mayors next week, along with dozens of city or town council candidates.
Election day is Nov. 7. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across the region. Details are available at county voter registration offices or at scvotes.org. All races next week are nonpartisan. Only county council seats in the region file candidates by party affiliation.
Fort Mill has its mayoral job and one of three open town council seats contested in the coming election. Ryan Helms and Guynn Savage vie for mayor. Lisa Cook, Lindsay Curby and Matt Vilardebo contend for one town council at-large seat. Fort Mill also has two unopposed council candidates, incumbents Ronnie Helms in Ward 2 and Chris Moody in Ward 4.
Clover only has contested races. Greg Holmes and Bo Legg filed for mayor. Mike Easler, Brittany Farr, Jason Manos and Amy Nivens contend for three town council seats. The Greater Clover Chamber of Commerce hosted a candidate forum Oct. 26 that is available to view on that group’s Facebook page under the live tab.
Five candidates face off for two city council seats in Tega Cay. Brian Carter, Adam Grabiec, Ron Kirby, Carmen Miller and Daniel Robert all participated in an Oct. 25 candidate forum hosted by the regional chamber of commerce. It’s online at the city’s webpage tegacaysc.org or on Youtube.
Rounding out election season are a host of decisions in smaller communities, uncontested races or non-election day votes. They include:
▪ In Rock Hill, Brent Faulkenberry defeated Hope Matthews for the city council Ward 2 seat by 19 votes on Oct. 17. Incumbents Derrick Lindsay in Ward 1 and Kevin Sutton in Ward 3 won uncontested races.
▪ York only has uncontested races. They are Mike Fuesser for mayor, Eddie Brown for city council Ward 2, Marion Ramsey for city council Ward 3 and Stephanie Jarrett for city council Ward 4.
▪ Bryan Jenkins and Bill Nance face off for mayor in McConnells. Uncontested town council candidates are Liz Christenberry, Bill Covington, Jim Hoban and James Sciba.
▪ Hickory Grove candidates, all in uncontested races, are Larry Earl for mayor and Ollie Bankhead, Kevin Faulkner, Harry James Good and Kyle Wyatt for four town council seats.
▪ Sharon has Nicole Perkins unopposed for mayor, and three candidates on the ballot with four town council seats open. Candidates are Herschel Brown, Jr., Ashley Glenn and Margarette Parrish.
▪ Smyrna has all uncontested races. Frances Faulkner for mayor, plus only three candidates for four open town council seats in Kimberly Linow, Amy Myott and Jessica Smith.
▪ Contested Lancaster County races include Iva Drakeford, Howard Mickle and Vincent Webb for two town council seats in Heath Springs and Loyd Fox, Kristen Setzer and Kyle Starnes for two town council seats in Van Wyck.
Uncontested races are Mike Dorman for mayor and Bobbie Faulkenberry, Michael Cook and Randy Seegars for three town council seats in Kershaw.
▪ Chester County candidates are Flora Barber and James Harris for mayor and Flora Barber, Nancy Beatty, Recorda Holmes, Albert Stewart, Jr. and Helen Ruth Williams in Richburg; Joseph Wilson for mayor and Cole Abell, Buddy Courtney, Valeria Erwin and Mitchell Lisenby for town council in Lowrys; Carlton Martin for mayor with Lee Ann Gaston and Angel Waits for town council in Fort Lawn.
This story was originally published October 30, 2023, 12:06 PM.
ROCK HILL — A lawsuit filed by Rock Hill Schools on Oct. 6 alleges that the city failed to follow through on multiple promises, costing it millions of dollars.The lawsuit, filed in the 16th Judicial Circui...
ROCK HILL — A lawsuit filed by Rock Hill Schools on Oct. 6 alleges that the city failed to follow through on multiple promises, costing it millions of dollars.
The lawsuit, filed in the 16th Judicial Circuit in York County, accuses the city of overcharging electric bills and reneging on a 2020 agreement that would have provided educational opportunities for students.
The school district claims that the city has “taken advantage” of it “in each and every iteration of intergovernmental agreements.”
“We are disappointed in the lack of follow-through from the City of Rock Hill and are forced to take this step in order to protect the educational future of students,” Helena Miller, chairman of the district’s Board of Trustees, said in a press release.
The city vehemently denied the allegations at the Oct. 9 council meeting, calling them “without merit” in a statement read by Mayor John Gettys.
“Our children are our primary mission and should be the focus of every decision we make,” the statement reads. “The leadership of the School District has clearly lost its focus with regard to this mission.”
The lawsuit centers on an agreement between the city and school district signed in 2020. It was the third iteration of an agreement that has been in place since 2004.
In the agreement, the district consented to issuing up to $85 million of bonds to support redevelopment projects in the city’s downtown and textile corridors, where the city has tax increment financing districts, a public financing method that allows the rehabilitation of potentially blighted areas. They planned to consolidate the two corridors into one.
The lawsuit states that the district relinquished future property tax revenue that it would have received to help finance the redevelopment projects.
The city has four TIF districts listed. The textile corridor covers Knowledge Park, situated just north of downtown, which is a priority area for the city that has boomed in recent years with the Sports and Event Center, Power House Food Hall, apartments, hotels and restaurants.
According to the lawsuit, the school district expected to receive concessions from the city as part of the agreement, including educational opportunities at Knowledge Park, the sale of the former Edgewood Elementary School and revised rules around utility rates.
But two years later, the lawsuit claims that the city has failed to follow through on its promises.
The school district said the city hasn’t provided educational programming at Knowledge Park. The school district also claims it expected to receive job-shadowing, apprenticeship and mentoring opportunities.
The lawsuit alleges that the city rezoned the former Edgewood Elementary School, owned by the school district, to a designation that wasn’t agreed upon by the district. The lawsuit argues that the rezoning “devalued” the property. The elementary school was once slated to become more than 200 homes for affordable housing units, but the lawsuit states it was never sold.
Since 2020, the lawsuit claims that the city charged the school district for more than $10 million in electric costs, which is allegedly greater than what the city purchased wholesale. The school district said the city added extra meters to increase the electric cost. It called the electric rates “unregulated and artificially high” in the lawsuit.
“There is no monitor, check, or supervisor to determine whether the City charges for resold electrical power are reasonable or warranted,” the lawsuit states. “Essentially, the City has turned the re-sale of electricity it purchases at wholesale prices into a profit center with no one looking over its shoulder.”
In its statement prepared for the council meeting, the city said it “met all obligations required under this agreement with the district,” arguing that it helped the district save $6 million in costs.
“We are disappointed with the current dispute and have made every reasonable effort to work with the School District — as we have always done in the past,” the statement reads. “Regrettably, the School District has chosen this aggressive, confrontational tactic to bully the City and extract terms more favorable for the School District than the terms provided in the parties’ written and executed agreement.”
In the school’s press release, Miller said that the district “tried to work with the city to resolve this” over the past two years, but she said the district felt like it had no other step forward.
“This is our last option,” she said, “to make sure our students are given what the agreement states they should be afforded.”
This story has been updated to clarify details in the 2020 agreement and the state of the former Edgewood Elementary School.
The district claims the city is charging them a fee for electricity that's not consistent with South Carolina law or any previous agreement.ROCK HILL, S.C. — The Rock Hill School District is now suing the City of Rock Hill over what it calls "funding issues."The district claims the city is charging them a fee for electricity that's not consistent with South Carolina law or any previous agreement. The district wants millions of dollars...
The district claims the city is charging them a fee for electricity that's not consistent with South Carolina law or any previous agreement.
ROCK HILL, S.C. — The Rock Hill School District is now suing the City of Rock Hill over what it calls "funding issues."
The district claims the city is charging them a fee for electricity that's not consistent with South Carolina law or any previous agreement. The district wants millions of dollars in tax revenue returned back to them after the alleged failed promises by the city.
WCNC Charlotte is committed to reporting on the issues facing the communities we serve. We tell the stories of people working to solve persistent social problems. We examine how problems can be solved or addressed to improve the quality of life and make a positive difference. WCNC Charlotte is seeking solutions for you. Send your tips or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rock Hill Schools issued the following statement:
“The school district can be a partner in economic development when it benefits our students, but our only mission is to educate our students; the District’s goal is not being the financial mechanism for the City’s development projects. We are disappointed in the lack of follow-through from the City of Rock Hill, and are forced to take this step in order to protect the educational future of our students,” said Helena Miller Chairman of the Board of Trustees. Rock Hill Schools has historically partnered with the City of Rock Hill and County Council in several Tax Incremental Financing Plans or TIFs, and the Downtown TIF in question was a consolidation of many of these past agreements. The school district forfeited $85 million dollars of tax income from the Knowledge Park area over a thirty-year time period in exchange for a series of agreed-upon terms such as educational space in Knowledge Park for student education and experiences, help with zoning on a property that the District hopes to sell, and renegotiation of utility rates among others.
As of today, the City of Rock Hill has failed to report their spending of the school district’s money in a requested independent audit, the zoning issue is still not resolved, there is no opportunity for students to learn in a dedicated space in Knowledge Park and the City of Rock Hill has fraudulently overcharged the district for utilities for the sum of $23 million dollars. “We entered this agreement in good faith, and it is heartbreaking to see our students being taken advantage of. We have tried to work with city officials to resolve this over the past two years, and this is our last option to make sure our students are given what the agreement states they should be afforded,” Miller said
The City of Rock Hill has issued the following statement:
"The City of Rock Hill and the Rock Hill School District # 3 have enjoyed a long history of cooperation and mutual assistance to benefit their common taxpayers and serve the children of Rock Hill. Our children are our primary mission and should be the focus of every decision we make. The leadership of the school district has clearly lost its focus with regards to this mission, This dispute stems from agreement related to critical textile xxxxx revitalization project which has been a resounding success for the people of Rock Hill. The city has met all obligations required under this agreement with the school district, an agreement that has already resulted in the city providing over $6-million in cost savings for the school district since 2020.
“We are disappointed with the current dispute and have made every reasonable effort to work with the school district, as we always have done in the past, Regrettably the school district has chosen to file a lawsuit and this aggressive confrontational tactic to bully the city and extract terms more favorable for the school district than the terms provided for in the party's written, understood and executed agreement. "The school district's complaint against the city is without merit and the city will address the legal merits in the legal forum. The city does not believe in addressing, through a public back and forth, its differences with another party and will hold to that going forward."
WCNC Charlotte’s Wake Up Charlotte has the latest news and weather from the WCNC Charlotte morning team. Watch all the latest stories from the Wake Up Charlotte morning team in the YouTube playlist below and subscribe to get updated when new videos are uploaded.
We are a thoughtful, compassionate team of real neighbors, approachable people, and thoughtful individuals engaged in our community and dedicated to providing the highest quality, most accurate news in a way that empowers and educates our audience.