Panel dismisses ethics complaint

A probe dismissed ethics complaints against former Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission Chairman Kevin Hollinshead.

The State Ethics Commission has dismissed a complaint against former Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission Chairman Kevin Hollinshead, who had been accused of using his office for personal gain by paying for personal expenses with a PRC credit card.

The Ethics Commission found that, while Hollinshead did use a commission credit card to pay for personal expenses during a business trip, including a first-class upgrade on his flight and tickets to an Indianapolis Colts game, he repaid the money, and the PRC did not have a written policy governing credit card use.

"Similar matters could be quickly resolved if the Charleston County Parks (sic) and Recreation Commission implemented a travel policy for the use of its credit cards for all its public employees and public members," said the decision signed by hearing Chairman Marvin Infinger.

The Ethics Commission dismissed the complaint against Hollinshead in a ruling that was issued Oct. 13 but had not been posted on the commission's Web site.

The complaint was filed against Hollinshead in January, during a time of conflict on the PRC involving how to spend the $36 million in Charleston County greenbelt funds that became available to the PRC for park purchases.

There was disagreement among commissioners, and particularly between Hollinshead and Commissioner Robert New, over purchases that included the $10 million, 420-acre Harmony Hall tract in Meggett.

After the credit card issue arose and the PRC voted to pursue the ethics complaint, Hollinshead said that he would file an ethics complaint against New.

New demanded an apology, which he did not receive, and then filed a $100,000 defamation lawsuit, which is still pending in court.

Hollinshead did not file an ethics complaint against New.

Hollinshead was among three recreation commissioners who were not reappointed in March by Charleston County Council.

He declined to comment on the Ethics Commission's decision.