You just have to wonder if the folks in charge of local government are as lax with their own money as they are with the taxpayer’s. In a previous post I wondered about the $52,000 that the City of Columbia fronted the retirement system to allow former Chief Randy Scott to “retire” early and collect full benefits even after returning to the job 15 days later. BTW, as far as we know there is and never was anything in writing that would have required Scott to pay that money back.
Now it’s Richland County which continues to throw money into the deep, dark hole over at the Election’s Commission. You know the story well, no point in rehashing it here, but apparently it is far from over. According to the State, each of the three finalists to take over the job held by Lillian McBride have job related issues in their pasts that will do nothing to instill even a shred of confidence in the good voters and taxpayers of the county.
Now we find out exactly how much money (your money) has been paid to lawyers as they try to figure out what when wrong back in November. You would think it should be a fairly easy investigation, but apparently not considering we are more than six months removed from the debacle and still don’t have a final report from the lawyer employed by county to tell us what went wrong. What we do have is a big bill from Steve Hamm to the tune of more than $72,000! It got to the point where Hamm was told that he could no longer be paid for his services even though no final report has been submitted. To his credit he has continued to work pro bono.
What is more baffling is the hiring of an attorney to represent the interests of the Lillian McBride. Why are taxpayers footing the bill for an attorney for McBride? If McBride herself is the subject of a lawsuit while in the employ of the county I get it, but otherwise? We are even told that this same attorney helped to “negotiate” her new position in the department. For the record, county taxpayers have paid nearly $10,000 for those fees. Yep, you have gotten hosed twice when it comes to McBride. Gotta wonder what else we’ll find out before all this is said and done.
Go ahead and write the check. Be sure to make it out to “Incompetence”.