Representative Gil Gatch (R-Summerville) filed today a resolution today directing the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee to begin an immediate inquiry into whether the South Carolina Comptroller General, Richard Eckstrom, should be impeached.
Richard Eckstrom told the Senate Finance Committee recently that the state's Annual Comprehensive Financial Reports (ACFR) for the past 10 years have overstated how much cash the state had in its coffers to the amount of $3.5 billion as they were double counting some of the state funds for more than 10 years.
“I am concerned the truth about this was purposefully hidden from the public,” said Rep. Gil Gatch.
“This is a grave miscarriage of public trust. If there was ever a reason for which the House should act on our authority to impeach, this rises to the top. At the end of the day, this is a $3.5 billion error, and we must hold the responsible parties accountable.”
The South Carolina Constitution gives the S.C. House of Representatives the responsibility for the impeachment of statewide officials for “serious crimes or misconduct in office.” If approved by two-thirds of the South Carolina House of Representatives, the question of removal of office would go to the South Carolina Senate for consideration. Rep. Heather Bauer (D-Columbia) and Rep. Matthew Leber (R-John’s Island) are among the co- sponsors of the resolution.
“I’ve asked for a full audit, and I got a meeting” Rep. Bauer explained. “This has happened before, and he was warned. I’m honestly surprised he hasn’t resigned yet. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
“I have serious concerns about the apparent shoddy bookkeeping of the Comptroller General, and that he knew he had a problem but did not disclose it to the General Assembly,” added Matthew Leber.
“The Senate has said they will get to the bottom of it, but impeachment starts with the South Carolina House. We should not sit by and abdicate our duty to the Senate,” Rep. Gatch said. "South Carolinians deserve better. We must demand transparency and accountability from our elected officials.”