Checks by former James Island mayor Clark under investigation (updated: FBI involved)

Image by Flickr user CarbonNYC

Updates at the bottom.

James Island's new mayor Bill Woolsey and the town council are looking into five questionable $1,000 checks written this summer by former James Island mayor Mary Clark.

The checks in question were written by Clark, with no town oversight, and paid to the order of Karen Clark Thompson, Clark's daughter and executive director of the newly formed Sea Islands Chamber of Commerce. Both Clark and Sherry Hering, also an executive director of Sea Islands Chamber of Commerce, said the $5,000 was a legitimate payment of a membership fee for the town.

Woolsey and his camp aren't buying it.

Woolsey has also said that Clark had made unwarranted payments to her son, Julian Clark, who holds Web services and highly technical GIS mapping service contracts with the city, together worth about $75,000.

All the checks in questions were issued while the town is still operating without a budget for fiscal year 2010/2011, which began June 1st.

The Post and Courier has a lengthy piece on the investigation; read it here.

Update September 16: "You can kiss my a**!" is the response Sherry Hering has chosen to give regarding the requests from James Island residents to refund the $5,000 former James Island mayor Mary Clark paid to Hering's Chamber of Commerce.

James Island's new mayor Bill Woolsey has said he is considering actions that he cannot yet disclose regarding a number of checks written over the summer. But from what we can gather, it sounds like he may be bringing an outside authority on board to investigate Clark's spending habits.

The Post and Courier has the update, coupled with the reactions of many James Island residents; read it here.

Update October 2: Word has come that State Law Enforcement Division has an investigation under way into the five $1,000 checks.

The Post and Courier has a nice report on the latest turn and the widespread support in the town for the action.

Update April 12: The FBI is now involved in a probe into the financial irregularities of former James Island Mayor Mary Clark.

The FBI will neither confirm or deny the claim, but according to the article in today's Post and Courier, "...two officials in James Island town government independently confirmed the FBI 'early on; became involved and has questioned town officials."

For the full update, click here.

Filed in