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Swansea town leaders ordered to show financial records

The court order calls for town leaders to bring in deposit slips and receipt books from the town's water account for the years 2017-2022.

SWANSEA, S.C. — Issued late last week, new court orders are being directed at Swansea's mayor, clerk and hired auditor. 

On behalf of Swansea Council Members Michael Luongo and Doris Simmons and former Council Member Barrett Black, their lawyer Jake Moore is requesting testimony from the town leaders to explaining the $3,300,000 unaccounted for, as outlined in the town's 2021 budget audit. 

RELATED: Auditor hired by town of Swansea explains $3.3M in assets unaccounted for

Moore explains his clients believe the discrepancies involve the town's water department finances. 

"From what we can tell by reading the audit report, there are accounting problems with the water and we want to know what those accounting problems are," Moore said. "If we have lost money because of those accounting problems, what amount has been spent on water, what amount of money is owed that hasn't been collected and what we need to do to correct the problems accounting wise in the water department." 

The subpoenas were issued by Moore's law firm, and the Lexington County court of common pleas.

They call for the recipients to bring in deposit slips and receipt books from the town's water account for the years 2017-2022.

In a statement, the town's attorney said, "My representation in this matter only covers the Town of Swansea. I do not represent any of the individuals. I am in receipt of the subpoenas and deposition notices recently issued in the case."

RELATED: Swansea council members file lawsuit against town

Lexington County Council Chair Scott Whetstone took Swansea's finance issues to the governor's desk last week. He tells News 19 he's looking for answers as a portion of his constituents live in Swansea. 

"I think it's way past due," Whetstone said. "I think it could've been avoided if these individuals would've just given up the documents and answered the questions that were asked by the two council members and I think it's a good thing. I think that these two council members, they had to do what they had to do for the citizens they represent."

This court order also requests all working papers related to the town of Swansea's audit.

As we've been reporting, it's still unclear whether any actual money is missing out of the town's budget or whether this is all the result of an accounting error. 

Moore explains if the mayor, clerk and auditor appear and explain, the case will be over with, but if not, he'll pursue this matter before a judge. 

RELATED: What led to a bad audit for Swansea - and why towns are supposed to keep track

The lawyer representing Council Members Luongo Simmons, Jake Moore, tells News 19 he's willing to drop the deposition and just sit down for a thorough conversation with the mayor, the clerk and the auditor.

Swansea's attorney confirms with News 19 that the town still hasn't responded to the lawsuit and that this is still in the early stages. 

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