Voters in Berkeley County, South Carolina are paying more attention than usual to a down-ballot local election this year after one of the “Republican” candidates appears to have tried to pad her taxpayer-funded salary by $25,000 last year.
The fiscal year 2021-2022 budget for salaries at the Berkeley County clerk of court’s office is $1.15 million – approximately $34,000 less than the $1.18 million the agency sought.
I did some digging on this differential and discovered that it was – almost precisely to the penny – the exact amount in salary increases requested by the office, which is run by incumbent Leah Dupree.
Take a look …
(Click to view)
(Via: Berkeley County)
As you can see, Dupree’s office sought a $25,000 raise for her – and much smaller salary increases totaling around $9,000 for eight other clerk of court employees.
“You really gotta love her coming up to bat for some of her other employees,” one Lowcountry analyst remarked sarcastically.
None of the raises sought by the office were approved, but Berkeley County employees did receive a three percent bump last year which took Dupree’s salary to $111,704 – not counting benefits.
This news outlet reached out to Dupree but did not immediately receive a response …
Dupree ran for clerk of court in 2014 but was defeated in that election by incumbent Mary Brown. She ran again in 2018 when Brown declined to seek reelection. In that election, she defeated Annette Harmon Bianchi – who was backed by the outgoing incumbent.
Dupree is being challenged in next month’s GOP primary by Republican Lisa Kerns.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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