JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — An ethics complaint lodged against Councilwoman Stephanie Endres was closed June 1 finding no wrongdoing, ending nearly a year-long battle between the Post 5 official and the Johns Creek Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Hearing officer Robert Jackson Wilson, an attorney based in Lawrenceville, presided over the ethics investigation and delivered the decision after reviewing documents submitted by both parties.
Neither Endres nor the CVB requested oral arguments or an evidentiary hearing.
“While the disagreement (with the CVB) was sharp, the record does not contain any evidence that Council Member Endres acted improperly or that her conduct was discourteous, uncivil, coercive or abusive in any respect,” Wilson said in the report.
“The only threat alleged in the complaint (that Council Member Endres would seek to cut off or curb the CVB funding) did not come from [Endres] directly but was alleged by the CVB to have been reported second hand by another Council Member.”
The Convention and Visitors Bureau filed an ethics complaint April 9 claiming on seven occasions from Sept. 10, 2020 to Feb. 16, 2021, Endres harassed and threatened to defund the organization if it did not amend its bylaws to comply with what she determined were deficiencies in complying with Georgia Sunshine Laws. The CVB also took issue with Endres’ use of her city email account and contact with City Attorney Ron Bennett.
Endres rejected those claims, calling them a personal attack and assault.
The report found the interactions between Endres and Bennet did not violate any ethics ordinances. The city attorney’s participation was consistent with his representation of Johns Creek. It also found Endres was within her rights as an individual council member and citizen of Johns Creek to present questions about CVB bylaw provisions and whether those conformed to state law.
“I have represented the Johns Creek residents effectively, appropriately and persistently,” Endres said. “The report speaks for itself. I did nothing wrong.”
Monica Gilroy, the attorney for the CVB, did not respond to a comment request.