Greenville Co. Council explains next steps for audit

Greenville County Council unanimously decided to move forward with an independent outside audit Tuesday evening. They also decided to have the county administrator, Joseph Kernell, work to secure the firm used for the audit, although he won’t be directly involved in the process.

This audit proposal stems from the current sexual abuse allegations surrounding Sheriff Will Lewis by a former employee, Savanah Nabors.

Council decided on an independent outside audit, not a forensic audit, which goes line by line. It is also very expensive and usually only used for an expert in a court case, and the council chairman says they’re not at that point yet.

Council members are currently compiling a list of items they want audited.

Councilman Joe Dill, who called for the audit, wants council to look at the sheriff’s expenses, overtime payment and positions and payroll in the sheriff’s office, to name a few.

“We’re going to try to find out if there’s any problems out there, if there’s no problems out there,” Councilman Joe Dill said.

Once the parameters are set the audit process will begin.

Council is not sure how much the audit will cost or the timeline of it.

They did decide on the firm Elliot Davis and an employee out of Charleston to do the audit.

“He’s an expert in intergovernmental audits,” said Dill.

Some people raised concern that Elliot Davis is the same firm the county currently has contracted to do their audits.

“The fact that they work for the same company doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re bias in any way. They have their reputation at stake,” said Lynn Ballard, Greenville Co. Councilman

Council says by going with the firm they already use, it might save the county money.

They say it’s a project that will take time, but it’s necessary for the community.

“If there’s a problem that seems to be out there, and I don’t know if there is in this case, they look to us for leadership,” Ballard said.

7News reached out to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office to see if they would cooperate. The sheriff says he looks forward to the opportunity to comply with Council’s requests.