“I hate to see this office losing functions that this county has always relied on the county clerk’s office for,” Todd said. “It hurts. I was elected to run this office. We’re just trying to do our jobs.”

A day after the Camden County Commission approved submitting a Request For Qualifications (RFQ) for businesses to handle government employee payroll services, Clerk Rowland Todd has questioned the office’s motives.

The County Clerk’s Office currently handles payroll services and had previously handled human resources before a department was created under the commissioner’s office. The arrangement sparked conflict between the three departments that resulted in allegations of stolen records and incomplete work, a private law firm investigation, and then a federal lawsuit which has not yet been adjudicated.

During a telephone interview on Thursday, Todd questioned the rationale behind the decision and wondered if this was another attempt to remove long-time responsibilities from the clerk’s office.

Commissioners Greg Hasty and Don Williams stated yesterday the motivation behind the proposal was to save county money, time and resources, while also becoming compliant with federal and state laws.

“I hate to see this office losing functions that this county has always relied on the county clerk’s office for,” Todd said. “It hurts. I was elected to run this office. We’re just trying to do our jobs.”

Todd particularly took exception to comments made by Presiding Commissioner Hasty and Human Resources employee Pat Thurston, who both stated on Wednesday, that Camden County was not in compliance with federal law, but did not site a specific example or infraction.

“If we’re not compliant, why haven’t we ever been written up for it?” Todd questioned. “The office has always done HR, Payroll and Benefits. We never had a problem for 12 years.”

Hasty also said on Wednesday that “what it took us under our current system of 29 hours will take us two minutes,” which is another statement disputed by Todd.

According to Todd, weekly payroll work usually takes about eight hours, but it depends on when other offices turn in timecards. Sometimes the clerk’s office doesn’t receive time cards until Monday afternoon or Tuesday, he said.

“Do they have the authority? Who’s to say? The statute is so vague,” Todd said of the decision. “The checks and balances would be gone.”

It’s unclear how this move would affect county employees currently handling payroll responsibilities, but Todd said he is not considering laying anybody off and does have one position currently open in the clerk’s office if one of the currently-filled positions is blacked out.

The RFQ is set to be published and run in print from Oct. 2 through Oct. 17.