Columbia Free Times
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Town Council Members Walk Out of Chapin Meeting

Mayor Lays Out His Case Against Town Clerk
By Al Dozier
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 |
A chaotic Chapin Town Council meeting took a dramatic turn Tuesday when three council members declared adjournment and walked out of the meeting.

Mayor Skip Wilson was preparing to present a report before a crowded chamber on his suspension of Town Clerk Adriene Thompson, but as he approached that agenda item, council member Kay Hollis raised her hand and made a motion for adjournment. Wilson declined to recognize her, but council members Robbie Frick and Bibi Atkins raised their hands in support of the motion and then all three left the council chambers.

After they left, the mayor said the council members “have a responsibility to the voters and I feel they let the voters down."

Wilson and Councilman Gregg White continued the meeting, which was often interrupted by outbursts from angry citizens.

The mayor says he discovered the town clerk was purchasing items without council approval, which is required on any purchase over $2,500. He said some expenses paid by the clerk’s officer were not supported by receipts and some purchases were questionable, such as those for “gum, licorice, Hershey chocolate and strawberry licorice sticks”.

Wilson said the town purchased 16 TV sets for the new Town Hall, which is staffed by 12 employees. He also found that disbursements by check did not have the required two signatures.

The mayor has asked SLED to investigate his findings. The legal issues raised by both sides are also under review by Circuit Judge Thomas Cooper, who is expected to issue an opinion in the next few days.

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