PICKENS COUNTY - Barring any new developments, the Pickens County Legislative Delegation will not be investigating further claims made by County Councilman Ben Trotter against Registration and Elections Commission member June Bowers.
Trotter had accused Bowers of violating the regulations of the commission by campaigning for candidates, a charge she denied.
The fact the Delegation was investigating the incident themselves came as a surprise to Trotter - as he had been told the investigation would be handled by the Governor's Office, he said.
"I was told that Davey Hiott was only gathering information," Trotter said. "So I gave him a certain amount, thinking that was enough to get the investigation started. Then I found they were doing the investigation."
Hiott is related to Bowers and Sen. Larry Martin has said he's personal friends with Bowers, Trotter said.
In a letter written to Trotter last month and obtained by The Pickens Sentinel, Rep. Davey Hiott addressed Trotter's allegations after speaking with June Bowers.
"I spoke with Mrs. Bowers about the specific complaints in your letter," Hiott stated in the letter. "She reiterated that she is well aware of the constraints placed on members of the commission."
Bowers also stated she was very careful about refraining from assisting with any candidate's campaign throughout the primary election season, Hiott said.
Trotter's complaint stems from two separate incidents, the letter states.
Trotter accused Bowers of campaigning for a candidate during the Blue Ridge Electric Car Show, by displaying candidate campaign literature in her car.
Bowers told Hiott her husband, Pickens City Councilman Connie Bowers, had driven their car to the car show.
"Mrs. Bowers' husband was certainly free to campaign on behalf of any candidate," Hiott said in the letter. "The presence of the brochures on the seat of the Bowers' car, particularly in this setting, does not indicate that Mrs. Bowers was campaigning for any candidate."
The second incident allegedly occurred at the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative Annual Meeting, the letter stated.
Trotter accused June Bowers of introducing the wife of his opponent Sam Wyche as "Sam Wyche's wife, who is a candidate against Ben."
According to Hiott, Trotter did not attribute who had heard the remark.
"It is my opinion (that) had she made such an introduction with the very words you used in your letter that she would not be guilty of campaigning on behalf of the candidate,"
Hiott said. "The words you stated she used were factual and did not ask anyone to vote for Sam Wyche or to vote against you."
In the letter, Hiott stated he did not believe that Bowers had been campaigning for Wyche or against Trotter.
Trotter said he didn't care who Bowers voted for.
"I don't care, she might have done me a favor," Trotter said. "But she's got the same ethics laws to go by that I do."
No other residents have contacted the Legislative Delegation to join in on Trotter's complaint, Hiott said.
After speaking with the other Delegation members, Hiott said he did not feel the matter warranted further inquiry.
"If the investigation's over, they will not re-open it," Trotter said. "I don't think they investigated it to start with. They just did enough to pacify me. I will not bring it up again, but remember, she could work against them next time."
The Pickens Sentinel tried several times to reach June Bowers for further comment, but was unable to contact her before press time.