ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – Isle of Palms (IOP) City Council on Tuesday voted to hold a public disciplinary hearing against a council member to determine whether she violated the code of conduct by posting an op-ed in a local paper.
Councilwoman Katie Miars penned an op-ed in local publication, The Island Eye News, offering what she described as a closer look at the lease options for the Isle of Palms Marina.
In the op-ed, she accused other councilmembers of being less than transparent and making decisions based on their own interests, not the interests of the community.
Councilmembers claim that writing the op-ed violated the Council’s Code of Conduct by disclosing what should have been classified information.
Miars herself said that she was open to having a public disciplinary hearing, saying that she would have been violating the oath she made to her constituents had she not shared what she believed was pertinent information.
However, to ensure that the hearing is conducted in a fair manner, she said that it is essential to first hammer out the protocol for that hearing.
For example, Miars said that she fully intends to retain legal representation, but questioned whether the City would provide that for her, though she thinks they should. She also questioned whether witnesses will be allowed, who will preside over the hearing, how evidence will be presented/considered, and more.
Council voted 8-1 in favor of the hearing. Some members who voted in favor said they did so not because they oppose Miars’ actions, but because they want to give her the chance to defend herself in a public setting.
A date has not yet been set for the hearing, but council rules require it be announced publicly at least one week prior.