Charleston County Register of Deeds Michael Miller missed the first quarter ethics report filing deadline April 10 after filing the initial report on April 6. The missed deadline itself constitutes an ethics violation.
Miller is expected to face a fine and a written reprimand from the state Ethics Commission, adding to a growing list of frustrations with the embattled office. According to Charleston County Democratic Party Chair Greg Perry, Miller, along with every other Democratic elected official in the county, was reminded of the deadline and warned that missing it would result in an ethics violation.
The Register of Deeds office did not respond to requests for comment prior to publication.
The register of deeds office has become synonymous with document backlogs, court oversight and lawsuits since Miller’s election in 2018. He has faced ongoing criticism and complaints about the unprecedented delays in recording deeds, the principle role of the office.
Miller faces a Democratic primary challenge from Karen Hollings, widow of the late nephew of U.S. Sen. Ernest “Fritz” Hollings and a former employee at the register office who worked under Miller and his predecessors.
“I’m running to restore the integrity of the Register of Deeds office,” she told the City Paper. “The Charleston County Register of Deeds office was regarded as the gold standard of register of deeds offices statewide. We’ve lost that in the last few years. We need to reinstate efficiency and competency. We need to create methodologies to process the work in a timely and legal manner.”
On the other side of the aisle, Bob McIntyre has filed for the office as well. As the only Republican to file, he has a free ride to the nomination.
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