By Stan Welch
District Two County Councilwoman Gracie Floyd passed away last week, from a combination of health problems, including COVID-19. She expired in a Charlotte, N.C. hospital. She had recently relocated to N.C. to be with her son during her final days, although she retained officially retained her seat on the Anderson County Council.
Floyd, who completed her husband William’s term on Council, after his unexpected death in 1999, served a total of twenty one years. She was the second African American person to serve on the Council. He was the first. She was elected chairperson of the Council during former administrator Joey Preston’s tenure. She was a key player in the machinations that resulted in Preston’s receiving a $1.2 million severance, just weeks before his contract would have expired. Floyd’s main role was to immediately produce a prepared contract to hire Michael Cunningham as Preston’s replacement, despite a county requirement to advertise the position.
The subsequent legal battle over the severance arrangement and Cunningham’s hiring dragged on for years, and cost the county more than three million dollars. Floyd’s role was muted but significant. She introduced Easley attorney Candy Kern Fuller to the newly installed Council in 2009 as her personal attorney. Kern Fuller proceeded to sue the county on Preston’s behalf for years, with Floyd constantly berating the County’s insistence on pursuing the legal issues. Kern Fuller, having been under federal investigation for her role in several unsavory schemes, recently surrendered her law license, due to health reasons.
A special election will be held to fill Floyd’s seat on Tuesday, June 1.
By Stan Welch