Public vote ousts Waccamaw EOC board member

SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - A board member seated on the Waccamaw Economic Opportunity Council has been ousted from his position during a public meeting Tuesday night in Conway.

Janice Wideman, acting director for the Waccamaw EOC, said Abdullah Mustafa was removed from the agency's board of directors with a 54-29 vote. The vote came in midst of a public meeting hosted by the Waccamaw EOC to help decide the future of two current board members.

The called meetings stem from an audit completed by the state governor's Office of Economic Opportunity in March.

According to officials, the audit initially turned up problems within the organization's board of directors, including lack of transparency in personnel matters, meddling in the day-to-day operation of the organization by certain board members, and improper election procedures.

A letter to the Waccamaw EOC's board chairman on Aug. 3 noted the Office of Economic Opportunity was "highly concerned about the effectiveness and functionality of the board."

The letter further recommended the removal of Mustafa, citing continued violation of misuse of power. By-laws outlined by the Office of Economic Opportunity, according to agency documents, define misuse of power as "actions influencing or attempting to influence the operation of programs."

Mustafa told WMBF News he does not agree with the audit and previously defended that he was properly elected by the people.

The fate of a second board member, identified as Wade Sessions, will be decided by the public during a separate meeting on Wednesday at 6 p.m. The meeting, according to officials, will be held at the Huckabee Heights Center, located at 2303 Leonard Ave. in Conway.

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