CONWAY — The general manager and CEO of Coast RTA appealed a ruling from the S.C. Ethics Commission finding him in violation for not filing annual economic interest reports for the past three years.
The commission found Myers Rollins Jr. to be in violation and ordered him to pay a total of $9,500 in fees in September. Rollins Jr. filed a motion for reconsideration on both the finding and the penalty, said Cathy L. Hazelwood, general counsel to the S.C. Ethics Commission.
Coast RTA’s Board of Directors issued a press release Wednesday giving their full support to Rollins.
“At Coast RTA, duties are delegated to various departments with a charge to carry out those responsibilities. A review of the facts has revealed that those duties were not carried out and timely reports were not filed,” board chairman Ivory Wilson said in the release.
According to the release, board members say Rollins’ leadership enabled the company to operate under a balanced budget among other accomplishments.
“It is for these reasons that we stand in full support of Mr. Rollins in connection with this matter,” according to the release.
Yvette Jefferson, spokeswoman for Coast RTA, said the company did not have any further comment.
“Our position is that we didn’t want to compromise his upcoming meeting so we won’t be releasing anything further than the press release,” Jefferson said.
Hazelwood said the commission filed the complaint against Rollins because he is responsible, as an individual, to file the economic interest reports annually.
“It is absolutely the responsibility of the CEO [to file],” Hazelwood said. “He can’t come in here and say he delegated the responsibility. We’re not going to [file a complaint] against his secretary.”
According to the complaint, Rollins failed to file an annual statement of economic interests for Coast RTA in 2009, 2010 and 2011, which was discovered earlier this year. The commission sent a letter on Feb. 2 and resent the letter Feb. 24, which was delivered on Feb. 27. Rollins filed the statements on April 17.
The hearing was held in July, which Rollins did not attend according to the complaint. That likely played a part in the amount he was ordered to pay as a penalty, Hazelwood said. He was ordered to pay $9,000 for filing late and an additional $500 for an administrative fee.
“It weighs against him in that if he showed up there’s no way it would be $9,000. If he appeared he probably wouldn’t have had to pay the full $500 administrative fee,” Hazelwood said.
Former chief executive of Waccamaw Regional Transportation Authority Benedict Shogaolu pleaded guilty to three felony public-corruptions charges in 2006. He was fired from Lymo, now known as Coast RTA, in 2004 after an investigation by the agency’s board showed he misspent public money, mistreated employees and possibly violated state and federal laws.
The commission will hear Rollins’ appeal on Nov. 28, Hazelwood said.
Contact reporter MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.