Letter To The Editor: Isle Of Palms Councilmember Blair Hahn Raises Concerns Over Recent Op-Ed By Fellow Councilmember Katie Miars

In response to IOP council member Miars “Op-Ed” piece I offer the following.  Clearly council member Miars is not happy with the decisions of this City Council.  That is understandable.  I, too, have disagreed with actions taken by this Council.  However, what council member Miars has done by unilaterally releasing attorney/client communications is a violation of her oath of office and a breach of trust within City Council.

Both the US Constitution and our State Constitution guarantee the right of legal counsel.  This means that each and every legal entity, including City Council, is entitled to the open and unfettered access to legal counsel AND those communications are PRIVATE. This is the Rule of Law as set forth by 250 years of jurisprudence and our Constitutions.  The reasoning is straight forward.  Each one of us has the right to understand the various laws and the interaction between those laws and our actions.  That is the purpose of this constitutionally guaranteed right and the purpose of Council going into Executive Session.  It is to seek advice from the City legal team.

If any council member believes that items were discussed in Executive Session that are not properly protected as attorney/client communications and should be made public, that council member has the right to bring those concerns to the Council as a whole and vote to release that information.  Council as a whole can also vote to release information that is privileged.  While I disagreed with doing so, Council voted to release the marina due diligence “wish list” provided to us by our attorney.  To date, council member Miars has never made such a motion.  

Instead, council member Miars chose to release direct quotes from a document prepared by the City attorney for the purpose of explaining the laws and the potential interaction between those laws and the actions of Council, as well as the potential actions of individual council members.  For council member Miars to do this is of immense concern because her actions ignore the Rule of Law and call into question the ability of council members to speak freely in Executive Session.  These are the actions of mob rule, not democratic governance.

Council member Miars has violated her oath of office to uphold the Constitution and Rule of Law.  She has violated her separate oath of ethics that each of us took shortly after being sworn into office and she has violated her oath to the SC Supreme Court to practice law in this state.  As such, it is not only appropriate, but in my opinion mandated that she be brought before City Council to answer for her action.  

Blair Hahn,

Isle of Palms

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