The Swain County Commissioners seek broader powers for dealing with welfare fraud.

One of the main reasons for the push is that some county welfare fraud cases from two years ago are still lagging in the court system, [Social Services Director Sheila] Sutton said.

County social service workers had 297 open referrals of fraud cases this past year. The agency found and substantiated $68,639 in welfare fraud between July 1, 2012 [and] May 31. Over $37,000 total fraud claims are still awaiting disposition in court, and $24,000 worth of fraud claims are still being investigated.