Ruling Results from Findings in “Council Expense Fund” Case

Judge John Few ruled on February 10, 2010, that Greenville County Council illegally delegated legislative authority to its individual Council members so they could make independent expenditures from a Council appropriated annual Council district expense fund.

The complaint filed by The South Carolina Public Interest Foundation and Edward D. Sloan, Jr., cited a South Carolina Attorney General opinion dated November 13, 2003, stating that a County Council’s delegation of legislative power to an individual member was unlawful.

Attorneys for Sloan and the Foundation requested reimbursement of attorney fees and costs by the county.

Circuit Judge D. Garrison Hill, who replaced Judge Few on the case, ordered Greenville County to pay attorneys’ fees of $59,612.50 and costs of $471.65 with interest to the Plaintiffs for fees through January 31, 2010.

The court commended Sloan and the Public Interest Foundation for “contributing to a matter of great public interest,” and for “obtaining beneficial results.” The “Plaintiffs’ litigation benefits every citizen of the County by requiring that the Defendant County comply with the law of this State.”

The court noted that the “Defendants refused to correct the violation even after receiving notice of the case law and the Court’s announcement of its intended ruling.”

It is understood that shortly after the February 10, 2010, court ruling; Greenville County Council began voting on individual expenditures from the Council Expense Fund Expenditures are now posted on the County website.

 

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Mike Scruggs