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Finger pointing of missing concession stand sales money comes full circle

A Column by the Editor
web posted October 19, 2009
COLUMN – Maybe we will be able to get some answers on where the money taken in from the county owned mobile concession stand at Bettis Park is going. It is obvious the Edgefield County Council doesn’t know where the money is going and, according to County Council Chairman Monroe Kneece, it seems no one does. Tens of thousands of dollars just “disappears” since 2006 and no one is accountable.

After an investigation was launched into possible problems concerning funds made by the county owned concession stand violating county law, the recreation Committee quickly voted to suggest and ordinance amendment, back dated of course to the beginning date of the reported infractions was launched.

The matter was then brought up for a vote by the Edgefield County Council to rectify, and possibly provide cover for illegal transfer of monies, in the October 6 county council meeting.

“Who is responsible for funds and accountability to the money,” Councilman Dorn asked. “I think that’s what they’re trying to find out,” Chairman Kneece answered, “and nobody is responsible for the money.” Councilwoman Blackwell questioned why the ordinance was backdated to 2006.

“That’s what ‘they’ are trying to find out”? Excuse me Chairman Kneece, but is it not the job of the county council to “find out” where the money has been going, not the Recreation Committee?

“They” can’t direct county money, only the county council can, are you admitting the county council has neglected their fiduciary duties?  Obviously so.

According to an email received by Recreation Director Nick Wates, he and former County Administrator Wayne Adams “decided” that the money would be turned over to the recreation leagues in spite of not having that authority.

Moreover, the same email discloses that the money from the Bettis Park concession stand has been deposited with the Mt. Canaan Baptist Association. Something Vice chairman Willie Bright refuted in a recent town hall meeting, but could not provide where the money was going. Mr. Bright is also actively involved in the day to day operation of the park in spite of the laws making his involvement improper. 

The Recreation Committee will be meeting tonight and EdgefieldDaily.com will be in attendance.

Perhaps someone will be able to provide details on the money taken in by a county owned facility, at a county operated park, during county sanctioned recreation events.

The list of those the fingers are being pointed at has come full circle. It is time for somebody to stand up and be accountable, or spill the beans. Either everyone involved is completely ignorant, or everyone is involved needs to be replaced.

It doesn’t seem the criminal investigation is making any headway in solving where funds ordered to be deposited to the county have gone.

Adding another level of the failure of those elected to protect this county from the misuse of public funds.

The Edgefield County Council has no idea where the money went, the Recreation Committee has no idea where the money went, and even the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office has no idea where the money went.

“I don’t know” is not an acceptable answer.

If I placed money that did not belong to me into my bank account, I would be in jail. Why is no one in jail for depositing our money into someone else’s unknown account? We know it has not been deposited with the county since 2006.

Call me crazy, but I think that is a pretty reasonable question to ask.


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