Horry County says Treasurer's issues are her own fault
Horry County, S.C. (WPDE) —
Horry County says a lawsuit filed by the Horry County Treasurer is a matter of poor management, not legal issues.
According to lawsuit, the county has not given the Treasurer's Office the money to hire additional employees to help with an increased workload.
Jones claims this failure has led to understaffed offices and overworked staff who are unable to meet the needs of the citizens of Horry County.
In an interview with ABC15 News, Jones said issues in the department have left millions in Horry County taxpayer dollars unclaimed because there aren't enough people on the staff to track down who the money belongs to.
To showcase the issue, on Wednesday the Treasurer's Office issued a list of individuals and businesses who have unclaimed refund funds waiting to be picked up.
Documents from the lawsuit show that Jones is asking the court to declare that she has to right to "hire employees and to lease additional space as she reasonably deems necessary," as well as require Horry County to “immediately fund her office as long as her requests are reasonable and necessary.”
In a motion filed Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, Horry County officials responded to Jones' claims, saying any issues in the Treasurer's Office are due to Jones' own mismanagement.
Court documents show that Horry County claims "legal issues manufactured by Jones are not genuine legal issues, but issues solely caused by Jones’ failure to properly manage the Office of the Treasurer and properly understand SC State law regarding the obligations and responsibilities of county treasurers.”
The county also claims that state law does not require Horry County to have the satellite offices that Jones currently operates. Horry County officials say the offices are in place for the convenience of the public and it is Jones' responsibility to run them.
In the documents, Horry County also states that "Jones has consistently attempted to manipulate, usurp, and contravene the budgeting powers and process of Horry County, to include the bringing of this legal action and casting constant blame on others including the prior Treasurer, for the sole purpose of misleading the public, justifying employment of friends and political supporters and diverting attention away from her mismanagement of the Treasurer's Office."
The motion goes on to show that, Horry County believes any possible issues in the Treasurer's Office "have been created and caused by Jones, her mismanagement, and her unwillingness to cooperate and work well with others."
Horry County is asking that Jones' lawsuit be dismissed, and Jones be ordered by the court to "individually pay to Horry County for all budget deficits she has caused in the Treasurer's Office" and "all legal costs incurred by Horry County in defense of the complaint."
ABC 15 reached out to Jones for comment.
She sent us this statement in email:
Their answer was embarrassing to the entire county. Actually laughable. It is clear this is personal for them. To attack the team is just ridiculous to say the least. I will put this team against any department in the county. The level of incompetence displayed by them is appalling. We have done more for the citizens of this county in less than 6 months than has been done in the last 12 years. We have made public refunds due to the taxpayers that date back to 1984. I follow the laws of this state and hopefully a judge will make them do the same.
You can read Horry County's response to Jones' lawsuit filing below: