Treasurer employed friends, political supporters and caused a deficit, Horry County claims in response to lawsuit

Treasurer employed friends, political supporters and caused a deficit, Horry County claims in response to lawsuit

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Attorneys for Horry County have responded to a lawsuit filed by treasurer Angie Jones, claiming Jones has hired more employees than have previously worked in the office and that many are friends and political supporters.

"As a result of hiring more employees than this office needs or has ever employed, she has exceeded the treasurer's budget and cause the treasurer's office to run a deficit," the county's response, which was filed Thursday, stated.

Last month, Jones filed a lawsuit against the county and county administrator Chris Eldridge, alleging that county officials will not provide her with the staff she needs to do her job, according to WMBF News partner My Horry News.

Jones' lawsuit states that her office is understaffed and at times employees struggle to take a lunch break because there are no other workers to replace them.

In its response, the county is asking that the lawsuit be dismissed with prejudice.

"Jones has consistently attempted to manipulate, usurp and contravene the budgeting powers and process of Horry County, to include the bringing of this legal action and casting constant blame on others, including the prior treasurer, for the sole purpose of misleading the public, justifying employment of friends and political supporters and diverting attention away from her mismanagement of the treasurer's office," according to the county's response.

On Thursday night, Jones called the county's response, "laughable."

"They're grasping at straws," Jones said.

As to the county saying that her staff is comprised of friends and political supporters, Jones responded that, "who I hire is none of their concern."

"I will put the staff I have now against any staff in the county," she said. "We have done more in six months that has been done in 12 years."

In June 2016, Jones resigned her position as a deputy treasurer under then-treasurer Roddy Dickinson.

At the time, Jones said she resigned her post at the treasurer's office because of what she referred to as a, "hostile work environment," and a barrage of, "malicious attacks that I have endured over the last several months."

Her resignation came during her campaign for Horry County Treasurer.

The full response can be read below:

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