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SC Comptroller General testifies again as calls for his resignation mount

The special Senate panel is releasing its investigation into the error on Thursday.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina's top accountant Richard Eckstrom testified a second time in front of a special Senate Panel Tuesday over a multi-billion dollar accounting error that spanned over a decade. 

Eckstrom responded to accusations that his office was warned by auditors of the error. He said it's the treasurer's responsibility, not his, to reconcile the state's cash balances. 

“That makes sense that that agency responsible for cash would be responsible for making sure those cash balances compore with balances shown in the accounting system," said Eckstrom. 

It comes nearly one week after House Lawmakers filed a Resolution requesting an impeachment inquiry into Eckstrom. 

Eckstrom told legislators in February that his office noticed the problem at the start of the pandemic. He added that the issue had been corrected and that it shouldn't impact their ability to debate the upcoming budget.

“It's one of the largest if not the largest accounting errors in accounting history," said Sen. Larry Grooms, whose been leading the investigation. "The comptroller general is answerable to the people of south carolina and he was just elected by the people. But the people of South Carolina deserve to have accurate reporting on our state’s finances."

Lawmakers questioned why Eckstrom has cut 70 percent of his staff since he took office and whether he rushed financial reports. 

“If we could have found additional qualified people we would have brought them in," said Eckstrom.

Grooms tells News 19 the panel is releasing its recommendations on Thursday. He hinted at the possibility of the Treasurer's office taking over some of the Comptroller's responsibilities.  

When asked if there is another place in state government that is better suited to produce financial reports, Eckstrom stated: "I think not."

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