Chapin council members walk out of meeting called to discuss tow - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Chapin council members walk out of meeting called to discuss town clerk

CHAPIN, SC (WIS) -

Tuesday night, Chapin Mayor Skip Wilson was supposed to outline to council members his reasons for suspending town clerk Adrienne Thompson.

Wilson says council asked him to do this. He did lay out his reasons Tuesday night, but most of council was not there.

Three of four council members left the meeting before hearing what Wilson had to say. The members asked for a vote to adjourn and did so. The mayor says this was not proper procedure.

"They have a responsibility to the voters and I feel like they let the voters down," said Wilson.

Wilson and Councilman Gregg White continued the meeting.

"We felt like it was important for people to understand what was transpiring right now," said Wilson.

The mayor says he discovered the town clerk was purchasing items without council approval.

"Gum, licorice, Hershey chocolate, and strawberry licorice sticks were also purchased," said Wilson.

Wilson also claims Thompson was taking part in excessive purchasing without regard to taxpayer money.

"Town clerk also has a vibrating massaging chair in her office," said Wilson.

Thompson said the candy was for a giant Scale of Justice. The candy is put there, according to Thompson, to mean "justice is sweet."

Thompson said the only reason she has the massaging chair is because it was $100 less than other chairs.

As for everything else, Thompson said everything she purchased was approved and at a good price.

Chapin residents packed council chambers Tuesday to hear what the mayor had to say.

"This mayor, James R. Wilson, has turned this town upside down," said Liesha Huffstetler, a Chapin resident. "We were a quiet, peaceful community until he stepped in and started demanding his own way."

"He was elected by the people. He is a wonderful mayor who simply wants control of the checkbook. He's watched thousands and thousands of dollars mismanaged in our community and he's simply bringing it to the table and saying we need to get control," said Terri Shepper, a Chapin resident.

The mayor says he believes the town can move forward.

"As long as we abide by the laws and do the right thing for the people, then we should be ok," said Wilson.

Thompson said she will be talking with an attorney.

"My audits were always wonderful. All my reports were good. Budgets were beautiful," said Thompson.

She believes this is all a plot by Wilson to give someone else her job.

"All the good I thought I was doing in making a beautiful building for the town is being condemned. That's how I feel. He's calling good, evil. He is evil and he thinks he is good," said Thompson. "He's trying to find any little thing he can. It's a witch hunt."

There is a SLED investigation in process. Wilson would not comment on it.

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