There won’t be anymore bailouts from Richland County Council for the county elections office and other agencies that receive county funding without council oversight.
Council gave initial approval Tuesday night to an ordinance that prohibits the payment of legal fees and any financial judgments created by any department whose director does not report to Richland County government.
County officials said the ordinance would not apply to offices under elected county officials, such as the sheriff’s department, or offices led by officials who are appointed by County Council or the county administration.
Earlier this year, Council agreed to spend more than $38,000 out of the county’s savings account to cover a long-overdue legal judgment owed by the elections office. The hired director of the elections office reports to a board that is appointed by state legislators and the governor, not County Council.
Council members frequently complain that they are mandated to fund certain agencies – such as the elections office and the Recreation Commission – but are given no oversight authority over how those offices and funds are managed.