“Urgent Need for Transparency”: Press Conference Announced to Address Legal Filing by Jasper County Treasurer Michael Skinner

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96 Bank Accounts (but access to only 23), Misplaced Petty Cash, Audits, Unrecorded Documents Among Recent Hurdles for New Treasurer 

Jasper County, SC, June 5, 2024 — Bland Richter, LLP invites members of the press to a significant press conference addressing the extraordinary legal filing by Jasper County Treasurer Michael Skinner. The conference will be held on Thursday, June 6th at 10 AM EST at the Jasper County Veterans Memorial Park.

Event Details:

  • Date: Thursday, June 6, 2024
  • Time: 10:00 AM EST 
  • Location: Jasper County Veterans Memorial Park, 1 Town Square, Ridgeland, SC 29936 

The press conference will cover the Complaint for the issuance of a Writ of Mandamus filed by Treasurer Michael Skinner, seeking to compel County officials to grant him access to all county bank accounts and records, thereby allowing him to perform his legally mandated duties.

Skinner, elected Jasper County Treasurer on November 8, 2022, faced numerous challenges upon assuming office on July 1, 2023. Despite an eight-month transition period, the outgoing Treasurer provided no assistance. Skinner found:

  • Ninety-six bank accounts for Jasper County and its subdivisions but incredibly with access to only twenty-three of the ninety-six accounts.
  • The County Treasurer’s website offline.
  • Documents removed and placed into storage without records.
  • The petty cash drawer locked in another county official’s office.
  • Toner cartridges removed from printers.
  • No written policies or procedures for transition.

Skinner encountered delays and obfuscation from other government officials. His requests for access to the outgoing Treasurer’s email account were denied, and he was subjected to two audits within eight months (a third audit is pending). Most troubling, Skinner discovered at least ninety-six bank accounts for Jasper County and its subdivisions but he only had access to twenty-three of these accounts and therefore cannot provide his oversight on seventy-three accounts. Despite requests and support from South Carolina State Treasurer Curtis Loftis, county officials denied him access and signatory authority to these accounts.

Skinner, as the duly elected Treasurer, must oversee all county accounts. The refusal by county officials to grant him access lacks legal basis, leaving Skinner with a singular legal option.  Skinner requests a court order compelling county officials to grant him signatory authority and access to all Jasper County bank accounts and related records.

Ronnie Richter, the attorney representing Skinner, states, “Treasurer Skinner has endured significant chaos upon taking office, facing intentional obstacles that hinder his ability to serve. The discovery of the numerous bank accounts outside his oversight is particularly alarming and underscores the urgent need for transparency and cooperation from county officials. 

This case is about ensuring transparency and accountability in Jasper County’s financial operations. Treasurer Skinner was elected to serve the citizens of this county and must be granted the access necessary to fulfill his duties effectively. We are committed to fighting for the rights of our client and, by extension, the rights of all Jasper County residents to have a transparent and properly functioning government”.  

To RSVP to the press conference, receive a virtual link to the press conference, or submit a question please contact Whitney McDuff at [email protected] or at 803-608-2386