Attorney for subpoenaed Swansea clerk treasurer says client is “adamant” there was no wrongdoing

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Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 5:02 PM EDT
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SWANSEA, S.C. (WIS) - The lawyer for Swansea’s embattled clerk treasurer expressed on Monday how his client was “adamant” she committed no wrongdoing and did her job properly.

Attorney Johnathan Milling’s statements are the first comments WIS has obtained for Milling’s client, Swansea Clerk Treasurer Margaret Harvey.

Harvey, along with Swansea Mayor Viola McDaniel, Swansea-hired auditor John E. Brown and the Town of Swansea face a lawsuit over questions surrounding the town’s fiscal year 2021 audit.

Town councilmembers Doris Simmons and Michael Luongo, along with a Swansea resident hired attorney S. Jahue Moore to file the civil suit.

Brown’s audit for the town found $3.3 million of town assets unaccounted for. Since the audit came to light, Brown has suggested the assets are equipment or property and questioned the experience of the town’s accounting staff.

The lawsuit alleges Harvey was not following proper accounting procedure, something Milling refuted.

Luongo and Simmons have been outspoken in their desire for answers on what happened.

Moore subpoenaed Harvey and Brown for records in late August and scheduled depositions for Sept. 30.

Brown was commanded to provide working papers for the audit, while Harvey was commanded to provide deposit slips and receipt books for the town’s water operation dating back to 2017.

Milling suggested Harvey’s subpoena may better be directed at the town.

The Town of Swansea is represented by attorney Joseph Dickey Jr., who said he is still evaluating the case and that it is in its early stages.

No defendant has filed a response to the lawsuit in court.

It’s unclear what the financial records for the water department may show. It operated off an almost $606,000 budget in the fiscal year 2021.

Regardless of the lawsuit’s outcome, Swansea’s financial staff could be changing. It published a request for proposals with a Sept. 30 deadline for both a certified public accountant and auditor position on its website.

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