S.C. Democratic Party requests investigation into newly elected Superintendent of Education claiming fraud

Letters claim Ellen Weaver’s completion of a master’s degree in less than eight months is “questionable at best.”
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 1:31 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2023 at 5:51 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) - The South Carolina Democratic Party has requested an investigation into the election of the state’s Superintendent of Education, alleging conspiracy to commit fraud.

In letters written to both the state Attorney General and the United States Department of Justice, SCDP Chair Trav Roberston, Jr. asked them to investigate Ellen Weaver.

Robertson’s letters claim Weaver’s completion of a master’s degree in less than eight months is “questionable at best.”

Bob Jones University announced the Republican finished her master’s degree in October 2022, stating Weaver completed the needed 33 hours of coursework in six months.

“Ellen Weaver has completed all the academic requirements for the Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Bob Jones University,” the announcement stated. “She has completed all requirements and earned her Master of Science degree.”

Bob Jones University’s master’s in Educational Leadership advertises a two-year schedule on its webpage.

The letter to Attorney General Alan Wilson asks for a review of the actions of Weaver, the South Carolina Republican Party, Bob Jones University, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

“The conspiracy to commit fraud is evidenced y the certification of a candidate not legally qualified to hold office ... and the creation of a master’s program not offered to any other individual, thus completing the conspiracy to circumvent state law.”

The SCDP’s letter to the DOJ asks Merrick Garland to review the matter as quickly as possible, stating:

“The certification of candidates under state law should be the same for every person, and the master’s degree program created for Ellen Weaver should be available for all students.”

A college accrediting agency announced they were looking into the policies and procedures for Weaver’s course, which was accelerated.

Weaver was sworn into office Wednesday afternoon.

“I am deeply honored to serve as your State Superintendent of Education. The challenge of ensuring an excellent education for every child will not be simple, but it is worthy of our time, energy, and deepest passion,” she said after being sworn in. “I believe firmly that children deserve our very best, not only because of their inherent God-given value but also because they are the future of our beloved state. Students, teachers, and parents across South Carolina are the heartbeat of education, and I will always be ready to listen to and learn from them. I am excited to work with our parents, educators, and community leaders to ensure that every child in the Palmetto State has the blessing and opportunity of a great education.”

The South Carolina Republican Party responded to the SCDP’s request, calling the party “almost as irrelevant as this unfounded and absurd stunt.”

“It’s a pathetic attempt to steal attention from the inauguration of a duly elected Superintendent who is committed to making educational choice a reality in our state,” the SCGOP said. “Maybe they should try winning an election the old-fashioned way - at the ballot box, like we do.”

Stay with WMBF News for updates.