The S.C. Ethics Commission dismissed a complaint against Coast RTA CEO and General Manager Myers Rollins on Wednesday that was brought against the transit authority leader last year for failing to file statements of economic interest for three years.
In September 2012, the commission found Rollins to be in violation after discovering earlier last year that statements were not filed for 2009, 2010 and 2011. He had been ordered to pay a total of $9,000 in fines and a $500 administrative fee.
Rollins appealed the ruling in November and the commission granted him a new hearing, setting it for Wednesday. The first hearing was held in July 2012, which Rollins did not attend, according to an ethics commission complaint.
“The commission said they felt there was clear and convincing evidence that there was attempt by [Coast RTA employees] to sabotage my administration and me personally,” Rollins said.
Cathy Hazelwood, general counsel for the ethics commission, said in an email that the commission dismissed charges because Rollins presented emails showing that a staff person did not file the statements as instructed.
Company emails from Coast RTA, obtained by The Sun News last fall through a Freedom of Information Act request, indicate that Chief Financial Officer Patricia Webster was instructed to file Rollins’ statements. The Sun News requested the emails after learning they might shed light on why Rollins did not file annual statement of economic interest forms with the commission.
Rollins said the commission asked him to share the events and circumstances that led him to being at the hearing.
“They seemed very supportive in their comments,” he said.
He received an email from Hazelwood Thursday morning informing him the commission had dismissed the complaint and waived any further proceedings.
Rollins said he is glad to have the issues with the commission behind him and is looking forward to working on improving Coast RTA.
“Now we can focus on taking steps to meet our mission, which is to improve mobility for the community,” Rollins said.