Awendaw Mayor Miriam Green faces ethics charges
Newly elected Awendaw Mayor Miriam Green faces four counts of failing to disclose income she received from Berkeley Electric Cooperative.
Miriam Green may have a conference soon with State Ethics Commission staff to discuss witnesses, evidence and other issues.
The commission itself is scheduled to hear the case against her March 19 in Columbia. That hearing will be held in closed session unless Green requests otherwise.
Green said Friday she was unaware she had to report that income but the former councilwoman said she has not participated in town votes regarding the utility, which is her main employer.
"I know the law. I know I can't vote on anything that pertains to Berkeley Electric," she said.
The State Ethics Commission notice of hearing, signed last week, says Green, as an Awendaw Town Council member, did not declare her income from Berkeley Electric on her 2009-2012 statements of economic interest. Each year represents a different count.
The ethics complaint was filed by Jeffrey Sewell, a political adviser to Joe Bowers, a marketing-catering assistant at Chick-fil-A.
Bowers ran against Green in last month's mayor's race and lost by a 2-1 margin.
Green said she has been on Town Council for almost 20 years and had never declared that income. She said she knew she had to declare whatever money she has received as campaign contributions, but not her income.
"I didn't know that I had to. I was never told to do so," she said. "Had I known, I would have done it."
Bowers did not make an issue of Green's economic disclosure during their race, and Sewell said he had been investigating Green even before that campaign.
Sewell said he has concerns about Green's involvement with the utility's "Round Up" program - and her role in dispensing funds intended to help lower-income residents pay their power bills.
Green, who noted she was a district manager with Berkeley Electric Cooperative during her campaign, said, "This is very disheartening to me because I feel like someone is just trying to pick on me."
She also said she is working with her attorney to resolve the matter. "There are some gray areas in the Ethics Commission, but we're working on it," she said. "It's all good."
Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.