Judge denies Dillon County’s request to remove treasurer from lawsuit

DILLON, SC (WBTW) – Wednesday morning Dillon County leaders asked a judge to remove the county treasurer from a lawsuit.

The county treasurer asked a judge to decide if the approved county budget was legal after the county decided not to give the county’s school district any money this year.

Judge Michael Nettles heard from the county, treasurer, and school board’s lawyer. Each argued why the treasurer should or shouldn’t be involved in the lawsuit.

The Dillon County administrator’s  lawyer, Robert Tyson, told Judge Nettles the treasurer does not have the right to file a lawsuit against the county on behalf of the school district. Tyson said the Dillon County Board of Education filed its own claim earlier this month. He argued when the Judge ordered Treasurer Jamie Estes to put money aside for the schools until the trial in September she was no longer liable.

“The county is going through a budget process right now to pass a supplemental budget,” explained Tyson. “The county is holding money each month as if they were properly budgeted.”

The supplemental budget includes the money for the treasurer to make a separate account.

Charles Curry, the treasurer’s lawyer, argued the 1995 bond agreement between the county and schools puts the treasurer in the middle. He said the treasurer collects the money from the department of revenue then gives it out.

After several questions, Judge Nettles ruled against the county and left the treasurer on the case.

Curry did not want to go on camera but said he is happy with the judge’s order.

Wednesday afternoon the county held a public hearing and second reading for the supplemental budget. The reading passed with a 4-3 vote. The county also went into executive session to discuss the 1995 bond agreement between the county and the school district. The third reading for the supplemental budget is planned for next Wednesday.