Horry County Councilman says ethics fines a misunderstanding

Horry County Councilman Bob Grabowski raised $4,800 for his 2008 election as a councilman and spent $4,127.35 to fund his campaign. Now, he's facing a $45,000 fine from the South Carolina Ethics Commission who says he failed to complete four quarterly campaign disclosure reports in 2009, four in 2010 and another in 2011.

Grabowski says he closed his campaign account in 2008 because it contained so little money and says since his election to Horry County Council, he hasn't collected funds. "If you close the account," says Grabowski, "You don't have to file quarterly reports."

Grabowski felt he resolved this issue nine months ago when he says the commission warned him about a possible fine. "They said I was missing a report. I informed them I was not. I thought everything was squared away. The first time I heard about the $45,000 fine was from the news."

The commission sent letters to Grabowski about the fines, but he says they were sending the information to the wrong address. "I've tried to call the ethics commission several times yesterday, and I never talked to the person who could correct this issue."

He now hopes to get in touch with the Ethics Commission to get them to drop the fine.