SC County Court clerk gave himself a $30,000 raise

KINGSTREE, SC (AP) — An elected clerk in a small South Carolina county gave herself a $30,000 raise last year using federal money set aside to improve child support collection , reported a newspaper,

The county attorney isn’t sure Williamsburg County Clerk Sharon Staggers was appropriate, and the state’s law enforcement division is reviewing her office, The Post and Courier reported.

Staggers’ salary is now over $92,000, according to documents the document obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Staggers did not return messages seeking comment and when a Kingstree News reporter came to her office on Monday, she referred all questions to Williamsburg County Attorney Billy Jenkinson.

Jenkinson said he spent weeks trying to figure out if Staggers was spending federal money appropriately. The federal guidelines are vague, and the state Department of Social Services did not respond to her questions.

“When you find out more, let me know,” Jenkinson said. “I am curious to know myself. We don’t know the answers.

Staggers gave county officials a 2015 email from state officials saying court clerks could use federal money to pay employee salaries with some exceptions. He did not say whether a clerk could increase his own salary.

Staggers is a Democrat who was first elected in 2012 and ran unopposed in the primary and general elections for a third four-year term in 2020.

Williamsburg County officials have been questioning the raise for months after Williamsburg County Supervisor Tiffany Cooks learned of the pay increase.

“I’m just against stuff like that,” Williamsburg County Councilman Eddie Woods said. “Maybe legally it’s not bad, but morally it certainly is. This is something citizens need to be aware of.

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