Charleston, South Carolina – People were asking for Charleston City Council to remove Harry Griffin from office, but councilmembers made it clear that they have no power to do so.
Councilmember Carol Jackson said that she went to legal counsel to see what can be done, and to make it short, she said they couldn’t do anything without a written code of conduct already in place..
“We have a local part of our code that allows us to have a trial that would take up the grievances and determine if we can vote to ask our colleague to forfeit his seat for office…but until we have criteria to hold ourselves accountable and evaluated our behaviors…we don’t have any grounds for even considering our colleague’s behavior,” she said.
She added that they could install a code of conduct, so they could eventually have a trial in the future if something should happen again. One example she gave is to follow or base their code of conduct off of Mount Pleasant’s code of conduct.
She mentioned a possible code of conduct could be talked about and implemented for January’s board meeting.
“I don’t know if you’ve tried to reach out to the bulk of your constituents, but they have told me they are embarrassed to have your as their representative,” Jackson said. “It’s on you. Nobody can force you to resign, nobody can do anything other than to ask you to think about it, but I do believe we should have a self-imposed code of conduct.”
In a similar light, councilmember Keith Waring said he did not appreciate the people who asked Council to vote Griffin out, especially those who knew council has zero power to do such an action.
Additionally, Jason Shakran said he believes most people were merely wanting a response from the Council, since the entire week held mostly silence, other than two public letters addressed to the media from him and one of Jackson.
Although Jackson repeatedly said the only action they could take was to implement some sort of code of conduct, it never gained any traction.
At the beginning of the council meeting, Griffin said that he will not resign. At the end, he reiterated his point.
“If this carries into next year and it’s based at me, there will be some legal action.” He added, “15,0000 people elected me to office. None of you elected me to office. None of you will take me out. If the people of District 10 do not want me, they’ll let it be known, but I think it’s pretty bad we have councilmembers who are still keeping this going.”