Last Thursday — the day before Winthrop University’s Board of Trustees voted 12-1 to suspend and issue a notice of termination to President Jamie Comstock Williamson — Williamson and her husband Larry issued a public statement stating the $27,000 Larry Williamson had been paid as an employee had been returned to the university.
Mr. Williamson earned the salary as a part-time employee in the Office of the President and was supervised by the president’s Chief of Staff, Kimberly Faust. He was “someone empowered to speak on Winthrop’s behalf,” President Williamson said. He worked for nine months ending May 31, 2014.
“I believe I must set a standard even greater than compliance with the law and hold myself to higher values grounded in honesty and integrity,” President Williamson said.
In the days since, WRHI learned that the Williamson’s statement June 12 that the money had been repaid to the university was not entirely percent accurate.
Larry Williamson did submit a check for $27,000 to Winthrop University on June 12 to J.P. McKee, Vice President for Finance and Business, university spokesman Jeff Perez said, but asked the check be held until the following Monday — four days later — pending the “transfer of funds.”
On Monday, June 16, McKee received a call from Larry Williamson, saying that he had issued a “stop payment” on the check, Perez said. Jamie Williamson had been suspended the Friday before by the university’s trustees and given a notice of termination outlining the reasons why the trustees wanted to fire her.
It was not until Tuesday morning — following WRHI’s request for proof of payment and a copy of the cancelled check — that Williamson informed McKee that, “if Winthrop elected to deposit the check, it would clear.”
In a copy of an automated receipt provided to WRHI by the university’s cashier’s office, that payment was processed Tuesday morning, June 17. The status of the payment was listed as “pending.” Perez said that the check has since been deposited.
Winthrop University trustees declined to comment Tuesday on the status of the Williamsons’ check. Perez said he did not know why the stop payment was issued Monday, nor the reasoning why the stop payment was rescinded 24 hours later.
Jamie Williamson did not return calls or text messages requesting comment for this story.
Following last Friday’s board meeting, board members said they had no intention to issue any additional statements until the board’s next meeting June 26.
At that meeting, President Williamson will have the opportunity to address a series of concerns discussed by the board during a seven-hour meeting behind closed doors, concerns that were made to the public Tuesday in documents released to WRHI and others under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act.
That same board — the one who voted to suspend her — will vote again and decide if she will get to keep her job.
ATTACHMENT: Perez’s written response
ATTACHMENT: Receipt and a copy of the Williamsons’ check