State Auditor Uncovers Poor Record Keeping in Town of Plymouth | Beaufort County Now | State Auditor Beth Wood’s office found a glaring lack of transparency in the town of Plymouth due to the nonexistence of meeting minutes for the Town Council for most of 2020.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the Carolina Journal. The author of this post is Johnny Kampis.

State Auditor Beth Wood. | Photo: Carolina Journal

    State Auditor Beth Wood's office found a glaring lack of transparency in the town of Plymouth due to the nonexistence of meeting minutes for the Town Council for most of 2020.

    Plymouth Mayor Vershumn Hawkins blamed the problems on the sudden departure of the town clerk and a ransomware attack on the city's computers.

    The audit said meeting minutes were not maintained for 32 of 51 town council meetings in 2020. The includes not only regular-session meetings, but also closed-session and special meetings. Audio recordings exist for three of those meetings that are not audible or missing portions of the proceedings.

    "As a result of missing and incomplete meeting minutes, Town residents were not informed on the discussions and actions taken by the Town Council," the report said. "This increased the risk that actions not in the best interest of the Town would go undetected."

    The audit pointed out that during a meeting on June 2, 2020, the council allegedly discussed and approved an $8,000 moving allowance for the incoming town manager, but the approval couldn't be verified by examiners because the records of the meeting don't exist.

    The audit notes that in discussions with the mayor, Hawkins said that the previous town clerk (not named in the report) left her job without completing her work, including logging the meeting minutes.

    "I don't have evidence of what I'm about to say, it's just speculation," Hawkins told auditors, according to the report. "But we've had issues with our previous employed town clerk...and mysteriously upon her exiting, everything kind of vanished."

    Hawkins, elected as the first black mayor of Plymouth in 2019, didn't return a request for comment on the issue from Carolina Journal.

    Plymouth also suffered the same fate as many other governmental bodies in 2020 that lacked sufficient security systems on their networks and were hit with a ransomware virus attack in September. Hawkins said the city lacked a backup system and lost data, including meeting minutes.

    Although many councils approve minutes for the last meeting at the current meeting, Wood's team found that Plymouth regularly approved meeting minutes months after those meetings were held. Hawkins told auditors that approval of meetings "fell off the council's radar."

    Following the audit, Hawkins said that meeting meetings are now prepared and given to council members as part of their packets for the current meeting agenda so they can be approved and filed in a timely fashion. The town is now also uploading that information on its website.
Go Back

HbAD0

Latest Op-Ed & Politics

We will offer this allotment of three with more to come; some old, most new, but all quite informative, and, moreover, necessary to understanding that in North Carolina, there is a wiser path to govern ourselves and our People.
Comedian and actor Damon Wayans last week praised Dave Chappelle for his Netflix special “The Closer,” saying the politically incorrect content “freed the slaves,” referring to fellow comedians feeling trapped to perform within the confines of the Left’s terms, lest they be canceled.
I have been following the Sheppard case and the Franks case the last couple of years with a somewhat dispassionate interest. The wheels of justice grind and they do grind slow.
A judge appointed by former Democrat President Barack Obama issued an order on Wednesday blocking Texas’ pro-life law that protects unborn babies.
Supporters of Madison Cawthorn have conducted a poll in the newly-drawn 13th Congressional District, a district east of his current one that includes part of Mecklenburg County, with all of Gaston, Polk, Rutherford, McDowell and Burke.
Two more Democrats have announced their plans to retire and not seek re-election in the 2022 midterms, potentially shrinking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) already slim majority.
Intercollegiate sports, particularly football and basketball, have ever so slowly, over the years, inserted themselves insidiously into the fabric of most universities with the support of alumni, the business community, and their college presidents.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during Wednesday’s press briefing that John Kerry didn’t actually mean what he said when he claimed during an interview this week that President Joe Biden “literally” did not know what was happening with the recent crisis involving France.
So far this year, Gov. Cooper has pledged over $930.7 million in tax incentives to just 22 corporations, including $845.8 million over four decades to Apple

HbAD1

The Beaufort County Commissioners will get another bite at the patriotic apple, a fruit they far too often hold in great disdain, to pass this necessary resolution.
Marty Kotis said he was simply trying to start a public discussion when he proposed a motion related to anti-discrimination policies.
On Wednesday, Dr. Elana Yaron Fishbein, the founder of the group No Left Turn in Education, blasted the Biden administration’s DOJ after the Biden Justice Department ordered the FBI to investigate alleged “threats” against school board members and teachers.
President Biden's numbers in the Tar Heel State are in the gutter. According to a recent High Point University poll, Biden's approval rating is at a lowly 35 percent.
Former N.C. congressman Mark Walker, a Republican candidate for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2022, has taken numerous calls urging him to shift gears and try instead to return to the U.S. House.
Officials have admitted they are rounding up people who are virus-free as well as those reported infected, since infection is merely an excuse for shipping people to concentration camps.  
New polling from Pew Research Center appears to show that a slight majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents do not want former President Donald Trump to be the Republican Party’s nominee in 2024.
An involuntary recusal, in the teeth of a Justice’s own judgment that recusal is not necessary, is in effect a public declaration that the Justice has engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.
A 75-year-old New York man died last weekend after a hospital refused to give him the drug Ivermectin in a last-ditch effort to save his life, despite an order from a judge, an exclusive report from News10NBC’s Jennifer Lewke revealed.

HbAD2

 
Back to Top