SUMMERTON – A 30-year-old Summerton councilman running for mayor in next month’s municipal election says a $21,500 fine levied against him by the state Ethics Commission recently was due to an error in judgment on his part.
Terrance G. Tindal, 30, is looking to replace outgoing Mayor Jay Bruner in the April 8 election. The Ethics Commission filed a complaint against the one-term councilman on Oct. 23, 2012, accusing him of failing to file statements of economic interest for 2010, 2011 and 2012. According to commission documents, Tindal did not appear at a hearing March 20, 2013, on the matter.
“During the time when I first filed for office, I was new to the procedure,” Tindal said. “I did not know that everything to be done wasn’t done the correct way. I wasn’t fully aware of what to do.”
Public officials – elected and appointed – are required by state law to file statements of economic interest annually, and candidates for office must submit the documents when they file for office. Public officials and candidates must also file quarterly campaign disclosures so the public can know who is paying politicians and where their contributions are going.
Penalties are $100 for each violation, and then $100 a day for each count after that.
Ultimately, this led to the hefty fine for Tindal, who said he is awaiting further instruction from the commission.
“I’ve already contacted the commission to take care of the fine,” Tindal said. “I’m waiting to hear back now. I sent the information they’ve requested in and I’m waiting for an opportunity to go before the commission.”
It is not the first time a candidate has said the filing instructions are “confusing.” Seven Democrats in Clarendon County were removed from the primary ballot in 2012 after failing to file statements properly due to a new filing rule.
“I can assure voters and constituents now that I have gone to great measures to rectify this situation,” Tindal said. “I feel the community has been very supportive during this time, and I still have many who are supporting me 100 percent for the mayor’s position.”
Tindal will face Summerton resident Mac Bagnal in the April 8 election. See next week’s Manning Times for more on the overall mayor’s race.