The management and spending practices of the beleaguered Richland County Recreation Commission are under scrutiny as the county commences an independent audit of the agency.
Council Council has frozen funding for the Recreation Commission at the minimum amount required by the state – $4.9 million, about a third of the amount the agency requested for 2016-17 – until further notice.
Matrix Consulting Group, of Mountain View, Calif., was hired to conduct the review and expects to have a final report in about three months.
“County Council’s main objective in conducting this audit is to ensure taxpayers’ dollars are being used appropriately,” interim county administrator Gerald Seals said.
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The Recreation Commission is funded by county property taxes, but County Council has no management authority over the agency’s board or its operations.
Former agency director James Brown III recently retired under a flurry of accusations and lawsuits alleging myriad wrongdoings. He has been indicted for misconduct in office. And Recreation Commission board members have been criticized for what some lawmakers have said has been neglect of their duties.
Four of the seven board members recently resigned. Three others, including the board’s chair and vice-chair, await Gov. Nikki Haley’s decision on whether to fire them.
Reach Ellis at (803) 771-8307.