City council votes to end controversial payments to mayor

Bishopville councilman Craig Nesbit (left) and Mayor Alexander Boyd (right)
Bishopville councilman Craig Nesbit (left) and Mayor Alexander Boyd (right)

BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - The Bishopville City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to end seven years of controversial monthly payments to Mayor Alexander Boyd.
The payments started in 2004 after the mayor turned down the city's health insurance benefit. The mayor is a retired Lee County employee, and he and his wife are both covered under the county.

The mayor received nearly $30,000 in payments.

Two weeks ago, the city's finance committee met with the State Ethics Commission about the payments and decided to stop them.

City Manager Gregg McCutchen told WIS the council passed an ordinance in 2004 approving the payments. But Councilman Ken Currie said McCutchen told the finance committee no official ordinance exists. Instead, it was an agreement done in executive session behind closed doors.
"Mr. McCutchen answered, 'no record can be found where council authorized payments to Alexander Boyd, who has his health insurance through another employer,'" said Currie.
Council's vote Tuesday night stops the payments as of January 1 and makes the practice illegal. Boyd refused to comment, saying he hasn't decided whether he'll accept any more payments.
McCutchen will make the decision whether to continue signing the checks over to the mayor. He too refused to comment.
Starting January 1, no city employee will be able to receive any payment in lieu of health insurance. As it stands, Boyd was the only city employee receiving the deal.

Previous stories:

City holds emergency meeting to discuss checks sent to mayor

Bishopville councilman: "If this is going on, how much more is going on?"

SLED finds nothing criminal about checks sent to mayor

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