HAMPTON — City Councilman Elton Brown was publicly reprimanded as the result of a series of ethics complaints filed against him earlier this year.
The complaints were filed by Hampton residents Linda Dodgen, Louann Pyle and Arley Lowe and concerned the “point of personal privilege” that Brown gave during a City Council meeting late last year.
During that City Council meeting, Brown’s point of personal privilege took shots at members of the Hampton public, as he vented his frustrations with residents not helping out in different projects. Those frustrations included Brown questioning the patriotism of members of the Hampton public, which led to residents pushing back against the councilman.
Specifically, Brown was reprimanded for conduct unbecoming of a public official.
Officially, three complaints were lodged against Brown individually by Dodgen, Pyle and Lowe, but all three complaints were identical to one another and were handled together.
The reprimand was approved by the Hampton City Council unanimously at its meeting Tuesday.
The board also heard a report from the Ethics Board concerning another hearing held recently concerning a complaint filed by Brown against Mayor Steve Hutchison and council members Stephanie Bodie, Henry Byrd and Errol Mitchell, the four who cast their votes to terminate the employment of former city manager Charles Coney.
Those complaints centered around what he saw as Hutchison’s attempts to get an ordinance changed that would make it easier for the City Council to remove a city manager. That ordinance was changed in October in what Brown called “an illegal vote” as Hutchison voted on a matter that gave him more power.
His complaints also centered around what he described as members of the council using their office to coerce members of the council to vote their way.
Those complaints were dismissed by the Ethics Board, but that board also expressed concerns about “what is being exhibited by city leadership.”
“The trust of citizens in government is cultivated by individual public servants acting with integrity, and aware of public servants acting with integrity,” said Bud Smith during the board hearing in April. Smith is the Hampton Ethics Board chairman.