CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The 15th Circuit Solicitors Office is asking for additional funding so they can hire two new secretaries. It says these secretaries will help lower the workload and help move cases through the court system more quickly.
A few years ago the state gave the Solicitor’s Office six additional attorneys but no additional secretaries. This means each secretary is working for two attorneys at any given time.
The Solicitor’s Office says that is taxing those secretaries since about a thousand cases move through the court system each month. This leaves the secretaries with a large caseload.
“Some of our guys especially with the drug cases will move over a thousand warrants a piece this year, they did last year and the year before,” Says 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson.
All 46 counties are mandated to move 80% of their cases through the courts in a year. Horry County is one of only two circuits that can actually do that.
Last year Horry County had nearly 11,000 cases and secretaries enter, upload, and redact all of those files.
“We’ve squeezed it about as far as we can squeeze it, we’ve done a great job and I think will be even more effective if we can get these two secretaries in,” says Richardson.
Richardson says his office needs one secretary for an attorney and one for E-Discovery. The total cost for those two positions is $108,000.
Though that seems like a lot of money, Richardson says that it will be less for taxpayers in the long run. As cases are moved quickly through the system, those found guilty will go to prison, and taxpayers won’t have to pay to house them at J. Reuben Long.
“Really a drop in the bucket if you can get people out of the jail quicker and off to prison or off to where they’re going,” says Richardson.
Richardson says they work hard to use federal money and grants to fund their office and not ask the county for money. He says they have only asked for 10 employees over the past 20 years.
Now the decision is up to the Horry County Council. Count on News13 to keep you updated on their decision.