Arts Group Hit With Fine

Martha Jones

Bravo Blythewood Improperly Registered with Secretary of State

BLYTHEWOOD – Bravo Blythewood, the cultural arts arm of the Town of Blythewood, was notified last week that it has been fined $2,000 for failing to register with and file its financial information with the Secretary of State’s Public Charities Division, according to Shannon Wiley, Deputy General Counsel of the Office of the Secretary of State. Former Town employee Martha Jones has been the CEO of the 501(c)3 since it was incorporated as a non-profit on Aug. 3, 2011. Wiley said no financial records have been filed with the Public Charities Division for Bravo Blythewood since it was incorporated.

While Bravo Blythewood is registered as a non-profit corporation with the business filing division, Wiley said because it solicits money and is funded by the Town Hall, it must also be registered with the state’s Public Charities Division and file an annual financial report and an annual registration form.

According to documents provided to The Voice by Wiley, a letter dated Jan. 1 was sent to Jones stating that a fine would be levied on Bravo Blythewood if Jones did not register and file the proper paperwork within 15 days. Jones did not respond to the letter until Jan. 22, when she phoned the office to say she would comply according to Wiley. When Jones did not further contact the office, a Notice of Administrative Fine was issued against Bravo Blythewood on Monday, Feb. 3. Wiley said Jones has since submitted a registration form, but did not submit financial information on the non-profit. Wiley said the paperwork was rejected and that Jones must resubmit her registration and submit the required financial information within 15 days of the last request that was expected to be mailed on Thursday.

If Jones does not comply or request a hearing with the S.C. Administrative Law Court within 30 days of the Feb. 3 Notice of Fine, Wiley said the entire fine could be levied.

The issue came to Wiley’s attention when Jones failed to submit information about Bravo Blythewood to The Voice for a story last December. When The Voice sought the same information from the Secretary of State’s office, Wiley contacted Jones about the matter. The Voice was unable to reach Jones for comment before press time.

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