Manning City Council trying to fill expired term of Grievance Committee member, but no terms are expired

Special called meeting Wednesday; Fired police chief Blair Shaffer supposed to bring case before committee Thursday


MANNING — Manning City Council will hold a special called meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to fill an expired term on the city’s Grievance Committee, though public records appear to show none of the committee members’ terms are expired.

The agenda for the meeting was received by The Sumter Item at 4:53 p.m. Tuesday, meeting the state Freedom of Information Act’s requirement of at least a 24-hour notice before any meetings, including special called meetings, committee meetings or council meetings.

Four items are listed on the agenda: a welcome and introductory remarks from Mayor Julia Nelson; approval of the agenda; discussion of the Municipal Grievance Committee to replace an expired term ending June 30, 2018; and adjournment.

There is no agenda item listing action may be taken at any point during the meeting.

The Sumter Item obtained a list of the members on the City of Manning Municipal Grievance Committee on July 19 in response to a FOIA request in connection with the firing of Blair Shaffer from his job as the city’s police chief.

Shaffer is scheduled to present his case before the Grievance Committee on Thursday.

The list, which includes five names plus an alternate and the dates their terms expire, does not include an opening on the committee due to an expired term. There is no term that expired on June 30.

Members of the committee are: Carroll Harrington, whose term expires on Dec. 31 of this year; James Pringle, whose term expires on June 30, 2019; Edward Pomprey, whose term expires on June 30, 2020; Mitch McElveen, whose term expires on June 30, 2020; Jason Montgomery, whose term expires on June 30, 2021; and Donna Hodge, who was listed as an alternate and whose term expires on June 30, 2020.

After the city’s Public Safety Committee was given the power to fire Shaffer through an amended ordinance in June, Shaffer decided to move forward with bringing his case before the Grievance Committee. The Grievance Committee will report its findings and recommendation to the Manning City Council which has final say in whether to uphold the firing or overturn the Public Safety’s Committee unanimous vote.

According to documents The Sumter Item received, the three-member Public Safety Committee consists of Mayor Julia Nelson, Mayor Pro-tem Sherry Welle and Councilman Clayton Pack.

Pack, Welle, Councilmen Ervin Davis Sr., Julius Dukes Jr. and Johnny Gordon and Councilwoman Diane Georgia make up the full city council. The mayor breaks a tie.