City ethics board meets, unfounded claims against mayor, Parrigin and ethics board chairman

UPDATE: The Ethics board unfounded all of the complaints against Commissioner Sue Parrigin, Mayor Bruce Wilkerson and Ethics Board Chairman Barry Pruitt.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- The Bowling Green Board of Ethics met Thursday night to discuss changes to the city’s code of ethics and complaints made against Mayor Bruce Wilkerson and Ethics Board Chairman Barry Pruitt.

The first item on the agenda was the proposed amendment to the city’s code of ethics. The amendment was voted down at the last city commission meeting. Had it passed, it would have required the person being investigated to pay for some or all of their legal fees if that person is found in violation of the city’s ethics code. This would have alleviated the burden on taxpayers.

Commissioners Dana Beasley-Brown, Joe Denning and Brian “Slim” Nash voted against adding that language to the code. There will be one final vote on the reading at the next commission meeting.

Ethics board members were also expected to discuss complaints filed Wilkerson and Pruitt. That section of the meeting falls into a state legal category under which the meeting is not open to the public.

A complaint was filed against Wilkerson earlier this month over how he chose to endorse mayoral candidate Todd Alcott.

The complaint against Wilkerson read that he violated code 25-9-1, which reads “no city-owned or city supported property will be used by a public official or employee in his or her private use.” The complaint argues that Wilkerson’s endorsement of Alcott at City Hall violated that code.

An ethics complaint was also filed recently against ethics chair, Barry Pruitt. The complaint stems from a series of partisan political retweets that have been shared from an unverified Twitter profile under the name of Barry Pruitt 191.

Thursday, the board didn’t say publicly whether or not any additional complaints have been filed.