County Commissioner Ron Beaty issued the following statement Friday morning. Beaty's statement is published verbatim.
The Chatham Delegate to the County Assembly recently filed a politically motivated proposed resolution claiming I violated the “County Code of Conduct” by severely criticizing the Assembly in some social media posts in recent weeks on my personal social media accounts.
It should be pointed out that because of the “separation of powers” and “system of checks and balances” contained within the County Home Rule Charter, as well as our inherent rights as individual American citizens outlined in the U.S. Constitution, the Assembly of Delegates has no legal authority to dictate what a Commissioner says or does not say.
With that said, the politically motivated resolution is actually only itself an opinion, has no legal impact whatsoever, and is essentially meaningless.
I apologize for nothing that I have said, and stand by my expressed opinions, actions and statements which are Constitutionally protected by our First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech and which all American citizens possess.
Suffice it to say that at the time the “Code of Conduct” came before the County Commissioners 2 years ago, I abstained from voting on it.
Also, the so called “Code of Conduct” is not an Ordinance, and is essentially nothing more than a list of suggestions that one might want to consider striving for.
The reason there are no punitive measures or sanctions contained within the “Code of Conduct” is because the Code itself is likely unconstitutional, or at least would be if anybody tried to force it upon an individual.
As a Cape-wide elected public official, I am answerable to the voters who put me into office, not the Assembly of Delegates, some of whom, like the bizarre self-important Chatham Delegate, appear to be rather thin skinned petty politicians that take unwarranted offense at being criticized.
Further comment about this matter will be provided at a later date.