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Sunday, June 16, 2024 - 01:34 AM


First Published in 1994


Mike Ellis Campaigning
Chief Deputy Coroner Mike Ellis, candidate for Greenville County Coroner, is shown allegedly campaigning on the clock.

A Complaint Has Been Filed Against Chief Deputy Mike Ellis for Campaigning on the Clock

A campaign ethics violations complaint was filed against Chief Deputy Coroner Mike Ellis (2nd in Command) of the Greenville County Coroner’s Office with the South Carolina State Election Commission by Freedom Caucus activist Sam Manley.

According to the complaint, Mike Ellis, who is running for Greenville County Coroner, is campaigning while on the clock. Additionally, Ellis has been seen wearing campaign shirts during the performance of his duties as Chief Deputy Coroner. The complaint also mentions that there is photographic evidence of these violations, which has been provided to The Times Examiner.

Manley, on a recent “The New American Movement” podcast (click HERE to watch), expressed his concern that Ellis's actions are not only a misuse of public resources but also a detriment to the efficient functioning of the understaffed Greenville Coroner’s Office, which is struggling to keep up with the demands of the largest County in South Carolina and its ever-growing population.

It is crucial to note that any candidate for any office who campaigns during office hours and does not separate his/her campaign from the official duty of the office of which he/she seeks is in conflict of interest and is considered a misuse of public resources and a waste of the taxpayer’s money.

According to Manley, Ellis is getting paid to campaign and put out yard signs on the taxpayer’s dime.

He said he was told that there are around three to four people in the office who are not salary workers, and due to overtime because the office is understaffed, they are making over six figures. He also said they have a high turnover rate and that the Coroner’s Office has been on autopilot for about six to eight years under the current Coroner, Parks Evans, who is not seeking reelection. We must manage our departments better and handle our money responsibly.

The complaint also says that official county email accounts are being used to campaign for the Coroner’s position. The Times Examiner has seen copies of these emails to confirm the allegation.

As stated by the complaint, it is further alleged that Ellis uses his county-provided mobile phone to conduct campaign activities for his candidacy for the coroner’s office.

Though the filed complaint admits that there is no actual evidence of using mobile phones, Manely has requested a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) to obtain cell phone usage, overtime, timecards, and vehicle issues. He also wants to make sure no family members have cell phones. He stated that this is how we keep our elected officials in check.

Manely stated there is more to the Coroner’s Office than responding to death scenes and putting on toe tags. They can educate our kids on drugs, and you cannot do it when you do not have the adequate staff that is needed to be more involved with the education of our children and the community as a whole.

With Greenville County Council recently raising our taxes and using our first responders as leverage to do so, we need to examine these county departments to identify any wasteful spending of tax dollars. According to Manley, there seems to be a double standard. Conservative voters are concerned about those who raise taxes but are not concerned when those taxes are being misused and wasted just because they are friends.

Manley expressed that a significant number of candidates tend to prioritize securing a job and the accompanying paycheck over genuinely being dedicated to performing the responsibilities that come with the job.

The Times Examiner has reached out to Mike Ellis and his campaign but has not received a response yet (the campaign email bounced back).