County treasurer asks for another raft of documents, this batch about Manatron

Beaufort County Treasurer Joy Logan has submitted two more records requests to Beaufort County attorney Ladson Howell, this time for documents related to a computer software system that has been fraught with glitches.

Kevin Hall, a Columbia attorney Logan hired last month to represent the Treasurer's Office, submitted two Freedom of Information Act requests for all documents related to Manatron -- the computer software the county began installing two years ago which has been blamed for causing inaccurate tax bills and delays in notice mailings.

One request was submitted June 17, and the other on Wednesday, according to the filings.

Logan has said Manatron is to blame for some of the accounting discrepancies in her office that have resulted in audits and criminal charges against former employee Casaundra White. White was arrested May 12 for allegedly stealing $210,000 from public accounts between September 2007 and May 2008.

"All I keep hearing from the county is that it'll work, but Manatron has been a mess for some time now," Logan said Thursday. "A lot of it hasn't been me at all. All I do is collect the money."

Beaufort County Administrator Gary Kubic denied that Manatron was to blame for problems in the Treasurer's Office.

"We know that the old system was what was used when the theft occurred," Kubic said. "What Ms. White is alleged to have done couldn't have been done using Manatron, so I'm not sure what Joy is complaining about."

Also sought are recordings of phone calls to and from the Treasurer's Office, and information about county employees found to have downloaded personal software on their government-owned computers.

Logan hired Hall last month and paid a $20,000 flat free from a public fund to represent the Treasurer's Office.

Hall filed an FOIA request May 24 seeking copies of all written and electronic correspondence about Logan's office between Kubic and Beaufort County Council members, county staffers, the media and 10 other parties. He also requested Kubic's personnel file and his property tax record.

Howell sent Hall that information last week and will supply him with any additional information he asks for, Kubic said.

"They could have gotten this information without submitting a FOIA request," Kubic said. "It seems a bit silly to me, but we'll produce the information they requested."