Following on the heels of the fund question were more queries that incited argument amongst the county officials and employees and even some of their family members who were in attendance.

Camden County may have money missing from one of its funds - may have.

A citizen, who happens to be a supporter of Presiding Commissioner Greg Hasty, asked about a discrepancy in the tax abatement fund at the beginning of a hearing on the 2018 budget.

Hasty confirmed that there had been questions raised over the fund, but indicated nothing was sure yet.

The tax abatement fund relates to relief from property tax assessment. The nature of what is wrong is still being researched by the Lake Sun, but the discrepancy is allegedly large.

The courthouse was closed the Monday and Tuesday after the hearing due to the Christmas holiday so no further information was immediately available.

Following on the heels of the fund question were more queries that incited argument amongst the county officials and employees and even some of their family members who were in attendance.

The hearing degenerated into an hour-and-a-half long brouhaha with accusations flying over a variety of issues that have occurred at the administrative courthouse of Camden County over the last few months. Recordings of the meeting have since made their way onto social media, continuing friction among the increasingly factionalized courthouse.

Items of contention were tied to the budget, mainly centering on the transition of payroll to a contractor and how that impacts the clerk’s office budget as well as raises for select staff under the commission’s authority as opposed to other elected officials’ staff. Job positions being cut and saved as well as new positions added in certain department also came under debate.

It should be noted that there is an ongoing lawsuit between County Clerk Rowland Todd and County Commissioners Greg Hasty, Bev Thomas and Don Williams with allegations of mean behavior and retatiation.

The Lake Sun will be following up on all of these issues in future stories as we track down more information. It should be noted that, while another Lake Sun reporter was allowed to briefly look through a draft of the budget, the county refused to provide him with a copy of the 2018 budget prior to approval, citing it as a work document and not an official record.

There were non-officials and non-employees at the hearing, however, with yet-to-be-approved budget books.

We have emailed a Sunshine request to the clerk’s office Tuesday evening so that staff would receive the request first thing Wednesday morning in hopes of getting a copy of the budget as quickly as possible. A copy of the budget or reply regarding the docment request had not been received by 4 p.m. Wednesday.