Former mayor alleges improprieties in police department grant

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By David Meade

Mayor Phillip Clardy addressed Williamston Town Council Monday with comments about a police department grant and questioned whether the town followed their purchasing policy. He also challenged Mayor Carthel Crout on information disclosed about the grant. The issue was also brought up during the January Council meeting. Mayor Crout said he did not intend to get into a dialog with Clardy on the issue, but would address it outside the council meeting.

Clardy claimed the mayor withheld information from him and the public which stated the grant guidelines were not followed when the department purchased 8 radios instead of the 20 applied for in the grant and used the remaining funds to purchase a video recording device for the dispatch area of the police department. Clardy claimed the grant money was not spent as it was supposed to and that no bids were taken on the purchase, which he said was a violation of the town’s purchasing policy and state law.

Clardy cited a letter from SC Department of Public Safety which retro approved the purchases stated the town was not in compliance.

Following the meeting, Mayor Crout said that the allegations made by Clardy were “unfounded” because the radios were purchased under the state purchase plan. “You don’t have to get bids,” Crout said.

Crout said the letter Clardy referred to was sent to former Captain Phillip Brown, who originally filled out the grant application. The letter stated that the purchase for the digital auto logger was retro approved in the grant for approximately $7,000.

Crout said that Clardy’s allegations were intended to draw him into a confrontation. “I will not do that,” Crout said.