Horry County treasurer plans to drop lawsuit against county government

Horry County treasurer plans to drop lawsuit against county government
Horry County Treasurer Angie Jones speaks to county council Tuesday night (Source: MyHorryNews.com)

From WMBF News partner MyHorryNews.com:

Treasurer Angie Jones plans to drop her lawsuit against Horry County Government.

Jones said county council members have assured her they will provide her with the staff she needs to run her office. She feels confident they will increase her office's budget by about $100,000, most of which will cover the salary and benefits of two additional administrative assistants.

"It's like I've said the whole time," she said. "It's a matter of the elected officials coming together and doing the right thing."

After discussing a legal issue in executive session Tuesday night, council members voted to instruct the county administrator to follow through on the plan they talked about behind closed doors, though they didn't reveal what that strategy was.

Jones said the proposal was for both sides to walk away from the case without a formal agreement. Jones would be responsible for paying for her own legal fees.

An amicable resolution would end what had been a tumultuous dispute over the treasurer's authority and budget needs.

Jones, who was seated in July, sued the county in November, alleging in court documents that county leaders refused to provide her with the staff needed to run the treasurer's office. The treasurer also wanted the court to force the county to place the business license and hospitality fee divisions under the treasurer's purview, according to court records.

Jones said she would be content with the increased budget and she's not going to continue fighting for the business license and hospitality fee divisions in court.

"That's something we can sit down with later on when I can get this treasurer's office situated," she said. "It's nothing that I'm going to let hold up a lawsuit that's going to cost our taxpayers."

After months of sometimes tense negotiations, Jones said she recently sat down with Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus and hashed out their issues.

"Mark is on board with everything we need," she said.

After the meeting, Lazarus declined to talk about what council members decided to do.

"It's a pending legal action that we don't discuss," he said.

Councilman Johnny Vaught also didn't want to elaborate on the specifics, but he did say the treasurer and the council have committed to a reasonable resolution.

"The two sides have agreed to work together," he said. "That's what it's all about."

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