West Columbia City Council Releases Audit Findings

West Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- An audit has been released to the City of West Columbia, accusing the mayor of intimidation and political favoritism.

It lays out what supporters say is a peek into the mayor's closed door behaviors. However, the mayor calls it nothing more than a political ploy.

"You pay an attorney to do a one-side report, that's what you're going to get," West Columbia Mayor Joe Owens said Wednesday.

The audit was put together by a Robert Bolchoz, a Columbia attorney, a former Charleston County prosecutor, and Owens said he got the report wrong.

Bolchoz declined to comment after releasing it to the West Columbia City Council this week. The audit was done at a fee of $15,000.

"If you look at it, it's mostly second and third handed conversations," Owens said.

City Councilman Tem Miles said he supports the report's findings.

Among the allegations listed, it says the mayor has allowed set policies to be ignored for his political allies, and on one occasion, even saying the mayor threatened a city employee with termination for challenging the mayor.

"I have broken no law except Tem Miles' law," Owens said.

The mayor said it's all nothing more than a political ploy ahead of a scheduled strong-mayor vote Sept. 30.

To read the report, click here.


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