Special counsel to look into potential Nash ethics violations

The city of Bowling Green Board of Ethics voted unanimously Tuesday to hire special counsel to look into whether City Commissioner Brian “Slim” Nash violated the city’s code of ethics.

As of Tuesday, the ethics board had received 24 complaints stemming from Nash’s arrest May 23 on a charge of alcohol intoxication in a public place after a Warren County sheriff’s deputy saw him leave the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center “in an intoxicated state” and get into his vehicle, according to the arrest citation.

He pleaded guilty May 28 and was ordered to pay a $25 fine and court costs.

The special counsel, who will be hired at a future board of ethics meeting, will be tasked with helping the board investigate the issues surrounding the alleged violation of the code of ethics.

The city’s code of ethics outlines prohibited behavior, including: “(Engaging) in illegal or unethical behavior, whether committed on or off duty, including, but not limited to … conduct that violates a federal, state or local law or ordinance, (excluding traffic violations) whether or not the violation relates directly to the duties of the public official.”

Board member Debby Peeples made the motion to hire a special counsel, saying “I am not sure I have all the facts” related to a potential code of ethics violation. The three other board members present Tuesday at City Hall quickly agreed.

Nash previously issued a public apology for his May 23 actions via social media, and reiterated that apology at Tuesday’s meeting in his first in-person public statements regarding the arrest.

“I embarrassed myself. I embarrassed my family. I embarrassed the people who support me and the city,” Nash said. “Some have argued I am only sorry because I got caught, (but) my apology is sincere. I hope to be able to do good work for the city.”

According to the Board of Ethics policy manual, if the board does find Nash violated the city code of ethics, it could take a number of actions, including issuing a written reprimand or recommending that Nash be disciplined or removed from office.

Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said previously it would take a vote of the rest of the city commission to remove Nash from his commission seat.

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