Williamsburg Co. transit system misuses money and county assets, audit reveals

VIDEO: Williamsburg Co. transit system misuses money and county assets, audit reveals

WILLIAMSBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A months long investigation into Williamsburg County’s Transit Authority has revealed serious misspending by the department.

Dr. Tiffany Wright, Williamsburg County's supervisor, first asked for an audit after complaints from county employees about back-pay issues.

The federal department of labor was involved, and Dr. Wright’s staff began looking into the transit system’s records.

County officials say they found more financial problems when they were looking through documents. In August, the county hired a forensic auditor to investigate thousands of dollars that were used by transit leaders.

Some of the findings revealed "serious internal control issues, expense reimbursements without proper documentation, authorization for travel that were not properly documented, and employees weren't required to properly account their time or maintain proper payroll records."

In reading the report we obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, we found the following:

  • $8,765.28 was paid out by the transit authority without proper documentation.
  • The executive director, Michael Burgess, bought $12,050 worth of gift cards. Employees received $6,850, but 25 cards totaling $5,200 are unaccounted for.
  • There were 109 vehicle tags that were lying around the offices of the transit authority, 58 of which are still listed as active with the S.C. Highway Department.
  • The transit authority was paying monthly fees for cell phones and tables that could not be located.

Those were just a few of the findings within the report.

Dr. Wright says she plans to have every eligible department audited.

Since the investigation, the executive director for the transit department was given the option to retire and one driver was fired.

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