SLED investigating North Myrtle Beach city manager over assault allegations
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – State law enforcement officers have been asked to investigate the city manager of North Myrtle Beach.
The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division confirmed that the North Myrtle Beach Police Department requested its agency to investigate City Manager Mike Mahaney for a suspected assault.
A police report obtained by WMBF News states the alleged incident happened Tuesday at North Myrtle Beach City Hall, but officers were informed of it on Thursday.
WMBF News spoke Friday with the woman who accused Mahaney, Laura Weaver, who said North Myrtle Beach City Councilwoman Nikki Fontana was also present at the meeting.
Weaver told police that she received a text message from Fontana, asking her to come meet with her and Mahaney at city hall.
After being escorted back to the city manager’s office, Weaver said she took a seat beside Mahaney and was asked about an email that was sent by her business partner to the city regarding rental operations.
Weaver told WMBF News that she owns a kayaking business in the Cherry Grove area, and thought that was what the meeting was about.
She told police that Mahaney became incredibly upset, placing his hands in her face “and standing over her in an intimidating manner” while putting his finger closer to her face.
“He starts pointing his fingers in my face, and he reaches over with his left hand and grabs my leg, just above my knee in a very forceful manner,” Weaver told WMBF News on Friday.
That claim was consistent with what was filed in the police report.
She told police that she told Mahaney to stop, and was said to have put her hand on Mahaney’s shoulder, motioning for him to get off her.
She expressed that she felt “verbally and physically intimidated” over the situation and told police she wanted to press criminal charges for assault and battery.
As of Friday evening, no charges have been formally filed.
The incident was referred to SLED for further investigation due to Mahaney’s status as a public official.
North Myrtle Beach City Council met for an emergency executive session Friday afternoon, meeting for over an hour-and-a-half on what was listed as “a personnel matter.” It’s unclear if the allegations surrounding Mahaney were discussed, but he was present for the meeting.
After council members came back from the session, a city spokesperson told WMBF News that Mahaney will continue operating as the city manager.
In a statement on social media, Fontana said that “no one was threatened, physically intimidated or assaulted in any way.”
A city spokesperson also said Friday that officials are taking the allegations seriously and that they’ve contacted the city attorney and a labor attorney as SLED’s investigation continues.
Weaver said she was scared to bring the issue to light because she depends on city contracts for her business, but ultimately she felt like it was something she had to do.
“He touched me,” she said. “Nobody has the right to touch anyone in city hall. No one has the right to put their hands on me. Period. I have a moral obligation to do this because this isn’t fun or easy.”
Multiple requests to Mahaney for comment have gone unanswered.
Stay with WMBF News for updates.
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