Fort Mill Councilman Chris Moody accused his challenger and a second candidate Tuesday of failing to file their state ethics reports as required by state law.
The Ward 4 councilman didn’t name the candidates during an interview with Manning Kimmel on WRHI Radio.
Moody lumped the Fort Mill newcomers into a group of three in his comments.
“What troubles me the most is that transparency is their buzz word,” Moody said on the Straight Talk radio show. “But two out of three of those candidates have not filed their South Carolina ethics reports, which is required by state law.”
Moody said he considers himself to be a transparent person who has nothing to hide in his ethics reports. The reports were due on Oct. 22.
Former School Board Chairman Patrick White also pushed the violations in an email to The Fort Mill Sun, saying the candidates must pay a $100 fine to the ethics commission for missing the deadline. He said they are required to file a report once the first $500 is either raised or spent in an election cycle.
“For candidates who want to be involved with budgeting and spending millions of dollars of the taxpayers money, you would think it would be kind of important that they reported their campaign expenditures correctly?” White said. “This is a story that your readers should really be aware of. Violations of ethics requirements are serious issues in this state.”
DeJesus responded to the accusation, saying his daughter fell and broke her arm on Oct. 14.
“Completely slipped my mind to file my Candidate Expenditures of $443.00 for signs and flyers that week, looking after her,” DeJesus said by email. “I have since taken care of this and spoken with the people in Columbia and we are all good.”
He took issue with Moody’s radio comments and the suggestion that he and Hayes were hiding something. He called it “such a weak argument.”
“Of course the town supporters will jump all over anything they can,” DeJesus said. “If Columbia is not worried about it then I don’t think Fort Mill residents need to lose sleep over it.”
Hayes declined to respond beyond what he said on his Facebook page. In that comment, he claimed the report was filed now and that “apparently the system didn’t process it.” He is one of two challengers to at-large councilwoman Lisa Cook (Election Questionnaire).
Meanwhile, Moody has been traveling door to door in the town for the last nine weeks, knocking on 1,500 doors and talking to residents. But the first-term councilman said this seems to be a hostile year for him after threats by parents protesting the gas station planned for Doby’s Bridge Elementary School, which is in his Ward.
“I had to get my house put on a 24-hour patrol list. I had to get cameras installed on my home,” he said Tuesday on the radio show.
He said a post on the protesters’ Facebook page made his wife and children feel threatened.
“Police protection had to be deployed to all seven (council) members’ houses on May 22 as a result of this,” Moody said. “This day and time, it only takes one person. You hear about tragedies all over this country. I really feared for the lives of my wife and my kids that day.”
Moody said none of the threats were made by the candidates running for council.
(Note: Moody chose not to participate in the Fort Mill Sun’s election questionnaire.)