Lowe responds to complaint
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2004
The Alabama attorney general’s office is evaluating a complaint alleging Columbiana Mayor Allen Lowe used a city-sponsored event to promote his re-election campaign.
The complaint reportedly alleges that Lowe, a candidate for his second term as mayor, used part of a speech at the June 25 Liberty Day celebration to appeal for votes.
After a complaint against Lowe was reported in the media, he said he wanted &uot;to clear the air.&uot;
&uot;I can’t comment too much about it because it is an ethics commission complaint that was filed,&uot; he said.
&uot;But I will say that I feel confident that when all the facts are disclosed that everyone will have a clear understanding about why this complaint was filed.
&uot;I made an offhand remark as the final statement of a speech in which I thanked all our supporters. I listed a lot of accomplishments that this administration has made. I named several ongoing projects in which the city was involved.
&uot;And at the end of my remarks, I told everyone about the upcoming election. I told them to vote their heart. I told them to look at the best candidate, and at the very end, I made an offhand remark to the effect of vote for me.&uot;
&uot;This is something I did not plan to say. Anyone who knows me knows my sense of humor and I make jokes a lot. I said that as much for humor’s sake as anything – and it got a great laugh. That was the intended response,&uot; he said.
Lowe said he had no idea this would become an issue.
am aware of who made the complaint. I feel very confident that this action was neither initiated nor condoned by anyone else seeking the office of mayor. It is simply beneath the character of the other person running.&uot;
Lowe said he also had no idea that the comment would be considered a violation.
&uot;If I thought it had been a violation, I would not have said it,&uot; he said.
Suzanne Webb, a spokesman in the office of the state Attorney General could not comment on the investigation.
&uot;I can confirm that we have received a complaint and are reviewing it. It is the policy of the Attorney General’s office not to comment on the existence or non-existence of an investigation.&uot;
Lowe said he had received support from many Columbiana residents.
&uot;I have received calls and visits both at work and at home from people who read about the complaint and have received nothing but positive support. And I’d like to thank all of those people.