The State Ethics Commission has cleared Batesburg-Leesville Mayor James Wiszowaty of conflict-of-interest allegations in promoting a plan for a new town water plant.
Its decision, made public Tuesday, rejects claims of impropriety from Town Councilman Steve Cain, a political foe who is running against Wiszowaty on the Nov. 3 ballot.
"I've been vindicated," Wiszowaty said. "I don't want an apology. I want his resignation" from Town Council.
He won't get his wish.
Cain said he will continue to question Wiszowaty's support for a proposed new water plant on Lake Murray.
"He's a slick-talking Chicago politician who operates in gray areas," Cain said.
Wiszowaty runs a convenience store and service station on S.C. 391 in an area where Cain says new development is likely after installation of a waterline from the plant.
Cain's complaint to the commission is a political stunt, Wiszowaty said.
"I'm used to his antics," the mayor said. "It's time for him to give up this fight."
The seven-member Ethics Commission disagreed with Cain's claim that the mayor is seeking to benefit himself, saying:
- Town interest in putting in a waterline in that area preceded Wiszowaty's taking office in 2001.
- The potential for increased commerce at his store "would be no different" than other local businesses could realize from new development.