Last week, the Legislative Audit Council released its report on the South Carolina State Clyburn Transportation Center in Orangeburg. The report revealed the lack of oversight and some questionable expenditures, but no missing funds. LAC Director Thomas Bardin then gave some recommendations that would provide better accountability for the university’s board.
Charleston Representative Chip Limehouse was one of 10 lawmakers who requested the audit and has his own opinion about how the money was spent.
The audit said that there was no money missing. What it didn’t say was it was all squandered, wasted and spent on foolish, outrageous things. For instance, $1.9 million that was paid to an architect up in Florence. He didn’t finish the drawings he was working on and $1.9 million to me seems like an excessive amount of architectural work.
Limehouse says the architect died, and the university did not get its money back or any architectural plans either. The audit was conducted at the request of 10 state lawmakers, who questioned where the funds for the center were following 12 years of delayed construction.
Limehouse says something has to change.
No business could operate like this and survive, that’s what’s wrong with our country, and until we start electing people who are going to balance the budget and not going to get money appropriated for boondoggles like this transportation center. It’s a boondoggle, let’s just call it what it is and be fair about it.
South Carolina State has only identified $27 million out of $107 million needed to complete the center. The LAC has evidence of questionable expenditures, but is allowing the university to continue construction with financial obligations.
Limehouse claims some of the money went to personal items and trips. And who does this affect? According to the lawmaker:
The real losers here are the students and the parents of SC State that pay their hard-earned dollars for their children to go to that school and the students did not get their transportation education there because the center was never built.
The LAC says construction delays were caused by lack of proper oversight, experience, and staffing.