Ethics complaint filed against Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson

BOWLING  GREEN, Ky.- An ethics complaint has been filed against Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson, regarding his endorsement of mayoral candidate Todd Alcott. More specifically, over how he endorsed the candidate at a press event at City Hall.

On Sept. 1, Wilkerson invited local media to City Hall before a city commission meeting and announced, not only that he would be dropping his re-election bid due to health reasons, but that he would also be endorsing Alcott, who was there as well.

Thursday morning, the Bowling Green Daily News reported the paper was sent a copy of the anonymous complaint.

City clerk Ashley Jackson confirmed that the city has received an ethics complaint but told us that it would not be public record until after the ethics board has acted upon it.

Wilkerson, who was in Louisville Thursday at the Kentucky League of Cities Executive meeting, said “it would not be an ethics violation as the city commission chambers are available to members of the general public for meetings.”

According to City Code 25-9-1, which Wilkerson said is listed in the complaint, “no city-owned or city supported property will be used by a public official or employee in his or her private use.” 

When asked if Wilkerson believed that his endorsement was a private affair, he said, “what I think is the important issue, is that it is a public place, open to the public for meetings regardless of the purpose. We can’t discriminate between organizations or persons. If it’s open to the public, then it’s open to an employee for an event.” He went on to add, “there have been meetings, parties, receptions, announcements etc., including candidate announcements in the past.”

The anonymous complaint is being forwarded to the ethics board for consideration.