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Town Council and Chamber law suit

Drew / Duane can you both tell me why you both can't ask and receive total transparency from the Hilton Head/Bluffton chamber and its current leadership before handing them tax payers money? Can you tell me what do you receive and ask for currently?
Are there any laws that prevent either of you to require all info from anyone who receives tax payers money? As you both are aware you both are subject to Foia request!!! The Chamber claims it is not and has in fact refused me and others any info and now trying to force a SC Supreme Court case with my lawsuit against them to avoid local discovery and transparency faster.

Note again, my Foia request is not just seeking all and any financials its requesting all and any info on past and present abuses and possible corruption to include following.

 

  1. Regarding the past proposed $600.00 per sq ft welcome center in the town owned the old building and land. Who came up with $600.00 per sq ft cost? The Architect? When I called him he said Bill Miles was in charge?? With who? How many 18kt gold faucets? No escape from getting answers will be allowed under any circumstance. Why are the lawyers fighting this so hard and who is paying the lawyers to fight?? This all happened when Tom Peeples was mayor, not Drew Laughlin! Since the town owned the land and building perhaps Tom and Steve Riley, current town manager, can help give answers. Certainly a 3-4 million dollar project on town property was not unimportant!!
  2. Bill Miles executive director's pay package is 400k, when Gov Haley is paid 106k, Mayor Laughlin's 30k, Duane Parrish's 112k, President Obama's is also 400k. Seems this alone would force each of you to want answers. Did the three-man compensation committee share or get approvals from other board members?
  3. I'd like info regarding Bill Miles travel to China, California Concours de elegance, and London with Duane Parrish to meet the queen. Duane told me State did not pay under a Foia request ? Who did?
  4. Bill Miles' free golf membership Where? How much? How often was it played and used by Bill and guests, Mon to Sun for last ten yrs?? Why did he receive free golf? Will the golf course be transparent?
  5. Taking our tax dollars to sub out work to Canada claiming it was done under some fair bidding process?? How much? Who makes what? Travel involved? All info shared by those bidding and those members never contacted or aware of process? What individual board members or Chamber staff approved this? Was this decided by Bill Miles and Susan Thomas, not a committee?
  6. What about the violations to IRS  501-c6 tax codes. How much going back 3 yrs? They lied with Charlie Clark, their spokesperson, by claiming they were not in violation when its proven they are 100%. IRS whistle blower tax case filed to prove this. All media are following this case.
  7. The chamber's redrafting of original by laws, by who? When? Why? Chambers violation to its current bylaws!!
  8. The chamber is in violation to its own mission statement and original intent to fully support local business members, not compete against them
  9. The chamber is damaging to tax payers, members and media members with competing and wasteful excessive  spending and refusal of transparency. What are they hiding??
  10. No true independent audit only audit was hired by the chamber this is not independent.
  11. Why is this organization and its buddy board refusing to allow total separation and independent Chamber and CVB as many other cities do. Again, both have different missions and purpose and this will end all co mingling of funds and abuse to all of us.
  12. Determine legal rights of our Town Council and SCPRT to ask for all transparency from the Hilton Head Chamber versus the Chamber telling them and others they refuse to be transparent and don't have to be, to allow abuse to continue under the radar.
  13. The Chambers board appointing process, term limits, how buddy board members are replaced, how members are abused or not abused in this process. Why are past board members like David Tigges replaced by Tom Upshaw still involved and escorts Bill Miles to Town meetings? Again how are executive board members replaced and seen to keep endorsing the same abuses?
  14. How many people have been refused membership in this chamber or been terminated since its beginning?
  15. IRS Form 990 does not identify all. We all need to see all salaries and all expenses and revenue not just some or what Bill Miles and this current buddy board wants us to see.
  16. Who is in fact in charge and makes all decisions? Names of all board members and minutes and  records of votes and meetings on all these approvals and board votes?
  17. Again Architect says Bill Miles did estimation on Welcome center at 600.00 per sqft ft. How? With who? Based on what and how many 18kt gold faucets?
  18. Trip to China approx 200 people. Bill Miles received 4-5 free trips commissioned back to Chamber? Why did he use this money to take his wife and two Children? Should this money be paid back and Bill Miles terminated from employment??
  19. Paula Bethea headed a 3 man compensation committee with Ray Warco, Charlie Brown. Paula Bethea is
  20. The godmother of Bill Mile's children is this not a conflict? Paula, head of our lottery commission, should know better.
  21. A board member resigned and stepped forward and told a group of us he was left in the dark and had no vote or knowledge of many things I identified including this.
  22. Who is paying all legal cost of our Chamber to fight transparency? Why did they hire lawyers in Charleston? Members dues? Tax payers? Money from for profit ventures in IRS violation? Some secret donation? All part of transparency??


Drew, what are you and Duane going to do? How do you answer to all this? What are our officials going to do to seek answers to my allegations and statements? SC Supreme Court will be interesting to see what happens and if it does not rule in favor to force transparency perhaps other lawsuits will have to be filed to seek discovery along with depos. What can not and will not happen as long as I am involved is allowing others to escape Fiduarary responsibility, current abuses and past attempted abuses. Again, lets assume I can be proven wrong on 20% of what I say which will not be easy based on my sources and investigation, certainly 80% is very serious in anyone's book.

We want to hear from you!

Send your responses to stopchamberabuse@hargray.com and state if you wish to be private or if your email can be published to this website.

You've Raised Very Serious Questions

I feel that you have raised some very serious questions about how our Chamber is being run and where the money is being spent to market our island and the businesses that support our Chamber.

Additionally, your questions raise the possibility that the Chamber board is a "hand-picked" board that continues to perpetuate the abuses alleged in your complaints. As such, an independent committee, made up of chamber members, needs to be chosen and convened to address your concerns immediately.

Those are my thoughts and you may advertise them as such.....

Kim D.