PORT WENTWORTH, Ga (WSAV) — A Port Wentworth council member has filed an ethics complaint against a fellow council member.
According to the ethics complaint document, Councilman Rufus Bright lodged the complaint, co-signed by council members Thomas Barbee and Mark Stephens, against councilwoman Jo Smith citing several ethical violations during Smith’s first term as a council member.
One of the violations included Smith becoming “extremely hostile” toward City staff after the council unanimously rejected a contract that would have benefitted her sister’s grant acquisition company—a company that Smith now works for.
This wasn’t the only violation cited in the complaint.
In addition, the complaint also stated that Smith abused her government-issued City credit card to make personal financial transactions.
According to the document, Smith paid almost $1,500 to the Foundation Center for an annual membership. Smith then refused to provide information from the membership despite the expense being made for personal use and not official City business.
Finally, Smith is accused of not living in the city of Port Wentworth. Although she qualified and was elected in 2021, the document claims that Smith’s primary residence is in Cobb County.
Smith has taken the homestead exemption on her Cobb County home for at least three years. According to records from the Cobb County Board of Tax Assessors, she’s owned a home in Marietta, Ga since 2013.
Smith has ten business days to respond to the complaint if she chooses.
The file complaint document can be viewed below.