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Bowling Green Board of Ethics finds no violations in series of complaints

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 10:33 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Bowling Green Board of ethics met Thursday evening to discuss several complaints that were filed anonymously.

One of the complaints was in reference to Mayor Bruce Wilkerson inviting local media to the city commission chambers where he announced he was dropping out of the mayoral race and endorsing Candidate Todd Alcott.

About one week ago, 13 News received an anonymous letter which explained the complaint, saying it violated 25-9-1 of the city code of ethics which states that ‘no city-owned or city-supported property, vehicle, equipment, labor or service will be used by a public official or employee... in his private use.’

Mayor Wilkerson released a statement saying it was not a violation because the chambers are a public venue. On Thursday during a closed meeting, the Bowling Green Board of Ethics unanimously found the mayor did not violate the code of ethics because the code of ethics does not cover the use of city property.

Several complaints were also filed regarding a Facebook post made by Mayor Bruce Wilkerson and City Commissioner Sue Parrigin. It claims City Commissioner Dana Beasley-Brown was attacked in the post which discussed a student-written paper about Beasley-Brown’s campaign. Several people are also claiming the public officials blocked them on their social media accounts. The Board of Ethics voted that none of these were in violation of the code of ethics.

Chairman of the Board of Ethics Barry Pruitt was also mentioned in an anonymous complaint filed. It accuses Pruitt of sharing partisan ideas and posts on his Twitter account. Pruitt was dismissed while the ethics committee discussed the matter. They voted that Pruitt was not in violation of the code of ethics.

After the meeting, we asked multiple members of the Board of Ethics if they would comment on the decisions made regarding the complaints, and they all declined.

13 News is still following up on the discussion and will have more information as it becomes available.

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