Waccamaw EOC in limbo over funding

Georgetown County, SC - CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - One agency that helps thousands of people is in limbo after a state audit put its future funding in jeopardy.

An audit shows that the Waccamaw Economic Opportunity Council is not in compliance with state standards. Board members say they have to find a way to fix the problems, get back into compliance, and make sure they have funding to help people in need.

According to the Waccamaw EOC website, they are in charge of over a dozen programs in Horry, Williamsburg and Georgetown counties.

Board member Michael Johnson says the audit found there are some issues with how board members are elected, records not being released in a timely manner, as well as the degree to which board members should be involved in day-to-day operations.

"We plan to meet about those, [look at] how to proceed, and once we make those corrections, then we will satisfy the audit," explained Johnson.

However, one board member, Abdullah Mustafa, says, the "non-compliance" issue is a blame game to get him kicked off the board of directors. He says there are disagreements between the board members, the executive director, and the SC Office of Economic Opportunity.

"Attacking Mustafa is attacking the people that Mustafa put there, and all of this is fabrication as far as what I have done," explained Mustafa. "The whole report is an assassination on Mustafa because he's inquiring and representing the people, and that, they don't want."

However others on the board disagree.

"I don't think the audit or the agency is targeting any specific board member," said Johnson. "I just think that the agency needs to be in compliance to continue receiving the funding we've received in the past."

Board members will meet on Tuesday to talk about their options, in addition to how and when they might be able to get back into compliance with state regulations.

The South Carolina Office of Economic Opportunity did not return phone messages left there Friday.

Also, Executive Director Elizabeth Fryar was unable to be reached, as the offices were closed for Good Friday.

Copyright 2010 WMBF News. All rights reserved.