South Carolina Comptroller resigning after $3.5 billion error

Accounting Error
FILE – South Carolina Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom holds up a book he wanted to present to his new Chief of Staff James Holly during his introduction at the Budget and Control Board meeting, Aug. 13, 2009, in Columbia, S.C. Pressure is mounting for Eckstrom after a $3.5B accounting error. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain, File) Mary Ann Chastain/AP

South Carolina Comptroller resigning after $3.5 billion error

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South Carolina Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom sent a letter announcing his resignation effective next month to Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC) after revelations of a $3.5 billion accounting error in a financial report emerged.

Eckstrom told McMaster he will resign effective April 30, per the Thursday letter obtained by the Associated Press.

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“I have never taken service to the state I love or the jobs to which I have been elected lightly, endeavoring to work with my colleagues, from constitutional officers to members of the General Assembly, to be a strong defender of the taxpayer and a good steward of their hard-earned tax dollars,” Eckstrom said. “They deserve nothing less.”

The longtime comptroller was threatened with being impeached by the state legislature after he told state senators that he had been overstating the amount of money being given to colleges and universities by the state for more than a decade.

The Post and Courier reports the five-paragraph letter to the governor did not mention the $3.5 billion error.

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The outlet also says in his letter he reiterated calls for the position to be changed from elected by voters to appointed by the governor. Lawmakers in the state are looking into holding a referendum in 2024 to change the position to be appointed rather than an elected position.

Eckstrom has served as the state’s Comptroller since 2003, being reelected in 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022. He has not faced opposition in the past several elections.

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