Lawmakers Helping Clean Up S.C. State Scandal

South Carolina lawmakers are trying to clean up what some are calling a mess at South Carolina State University.

Representatives held a public forum Thursday afternoon. It comes after months of scandal at S.C. State over financial mismanagement, ethics miscues, and possible criminal wrongdoing. They listened to outraged students, staff, and alumni.Last month, former University President George Cooper stepped down.

Representatives also discussed a bill introduced by Orangeburg Democrat Jerry Govan. The measure would change how the school's board of trustees is elected; and it is gaining support at the Statehouse. The bill would cut Trustee members from 13 to nine, and they would be elected by congressional district. Students gave overwhelming support, saying that trustee members have personal agendas and are not looking at the best interest for the school.

In February, Cooper fired eight employees in one day without an explanation.

Representatives including Govan said they will do all they can to help.

"What my bill simply tries to do is ensure that we have greater accountability by having members strictly elected from congressional districts. So that we can have more accountability and have more representation, equal representation from equal parts of the state."

Govan's bill will be taken up at the Statehouse Tuesday. The Senate also has two versions of their own. Govan said he hopes to discuss all three in a conference committee.ã??