Letter To The Editor: #MeToo Sullivan’s Island

Our Town Administrator, Andy Benke, and Mayor, Pat O’Neil, based on a recent Post and Courier article, were complicit in allowing a work environment hostile enough for a high performing town employee to resign and then sue the town after their tepid response to her complaint. The Mayor should have fired the Comptroller/Deputy Town Administrator for behavior which violated an employee’s right to a safe workplace. Not to mention, the fact that harassment is illegal in the state of South Carolina if it is frequent and creates a hostile or offensive work environment. In this case, the harassment went on for over a year. My bet is we will never know the details because this will be settled quietly with confidentiality to protect the actions that have been taken. My hope is that the complainant ignores settlement offers and takes the town to court for us to fully understand the egregious disregard by the town of her rights and for her to get the satisfaction of being heard rather than to be silenced by a payoff. The bigger question is, why would the Town continue to sweep this under the rug and to employ someone who has demonstrated such poor judgment, acted in an openly lewd manner and was likely widely known inside Town Hall for over a year in the workplace? 

Expecting basic decency is not that much to ask. A slap on the wrist and a “this too shall pass strategy” from Our Mayor and Town Administrator is not enough. 

Kevin Pennington 

Sullivan’s Island 

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