Surfside Beach town councilman faces a new ethics violation

    Randle Stevens (WPDE)

    Surfside Beach town councilman Randle Stevens is facing a new ethics violation, according to the S.C. Ethics Commission.

    The complaint was filed against Stevens by Steve Shore, a resident of the town and a chairman of a town committee.

    According to the complaint, Stevens attended a construction board of appeals meeting on Jan. 22, 2018 and spoke at that meeting as a Surfside Beach councilman.

    The appeal in question, according to the complaint, had nothing to do with Stevens.

    At the meeting, Stevens "encouraged the members of the appeals board to grant an appeal to his friend who had an issue with the town ... regarding fill dirt."

    The complaint continues stating, "his intent was to influence the appeals board to 'do the right thing.'"

    RELATED: ABC15 Investigates: Surfside Beach councilman facing ethics charges again

    The appeals board members, according to the complaint, felt uncomfortable with Stevens being there and representing himself as a council member.

    There is an audio recording of the meeting, according to the complaint.

    Shore said Stevens' actions were an abuse of power and that he tried to use his political position to apply pressure to affect an appeals process.

    Stevens was found guilty of six counts of ethics violations in 2018 including the following: one count of failure to file pre-election campaign disclosure report, two counts of failure to disclose expenditure on campaign disclosure report, two counts of failure to disclose contribution information on campaign disclosure report, and one count of acceptance of anonymous contributions.

    A hearing on the new charge is scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 16 in Columbia.

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