Richard Eckstrom has been very busy lately. In addition to major problems at his second job – commander of the S.C. State Guard – the 64-year-old “Republican” Comptroller General has been dealing with all sorts of drama in his personal life.
Of course despite the drama Eckstrom – a top ally of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – has found the time to make fundraising calls for his 2014 reelection campaign at S.C. Republican Party (SCGOP) headquarters.
What’s slipped through the cracks, though? The State of South Carolina’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY 2011-12 – which was due on December 31, 2012 (six months after the most recent fiscal year ended).
What’s the hold up? Eckstrom’s office didn’t immediately provide us with a reason, but a source who tracks these documents tells FITS this delay is “is serious business and unpresidented in (state) history.”
We’re also told Eckstrom’s failure to submit this report – which is required by law – is raising red flags among the credit rating agencies which determine our state’s borrowing costs on infrastructure projects.
“Ratings agencies and those that buy bonds are watching carefully,” a source familiar with the situation tells FITS. “Bonds are priced on risk and these types of issues are warning signs. Issues like this can affect the pricing of our bonds which is not a good thing.”
In fact FITS was provided with a warning issued in late January by Fidelity Investments which cited South Carolina’s “failure to file (an) annual report” as a cause for concern.
“These warnings are going out all over the place,” another source said.
In addition to being two-and-a-half months late, Eckstrom’s report is “at least” $150,000 over budget – according to sources inside the S.C. Comptroller’s office.
Wait … $150,000 … over budget? To reprint a bunch of spreadsheets?
With all due respect, Richard Eckstrom needs to extract his head from his ass (or wherever it is) and do the job we are paying him to do. Absent that, he needs to resign and let someone else take over this position – which pays more than $90,000 annually not counting benefits (including a state subsidized vehicle and travel costs).
Taxpayers can’t afford to pay more in borrowing costs for any reason, let alone because “Comptroller Creepy” is having girl problems …