Embattled Beaufort County Treasurer Joy Logan has received her share of brickbats in recent months.
But on Thursday, she received kudos from the state's second-ranking executive -- on the recommendation of a member of an organization Logan once led and that also honored her this past month.
Logan was presented with the Palmetto Patriot Award, which the lieutenant governor's office says is the highest civilian honor it presents, during a ceremony in Charleston.
"The people giving me this award know who I am and know what I've done for Beaufort County," Logan said. "What I've experienced in Beaufort is just a lot of politics ... very dirty politics."
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Logan has been under fire from County Administrator Gary Kubic, the Beaufort County Council and other elected officials since the May 12 arrest of former Treasurer's Office employee Cassaundra White, who is accused of stealing more than $210,000 from public accounts.
In November's general election, Logan will face her first election opponent -- petition candidate Doug Henderson -- since first winning the office in 1991.
It wasn't immediately clear Thursday the criteria for the award or how often it has been bestowed.
Recent criticism of Logan didn't sway Bauer from his decision to honor Logan, said Matt Robinson, Bauer spokesman. Logan was recognized for "outstanding service to Beaufort County and its residents" during 19 years as county treasurer, he said.
"County and other local officials are the ones who are working most directly with (residents), and the work they do often goes overlooked," Robinson said. "We think it's nice to be able to recognize those people for what they do."
Logan was recommended for the award by former Berkeley County Coroner Wade Arnette, Robinson said. Attempts Thursday to reach Arnette were unsuccessful.
Arnette is a director emeritus of the S.C. Association of Countywide Elected Executives, an organization Logan founded in the 1990s. That organization also honored Logan last month, for "excellence in government service." Logan served as president of the group on three occasions and was on its board of directors as recently as last year."She's been in office a long time and she's known by a lot of people, and if they want to give her an award, that's fine," said County Coucilman Stu Rodman of Hilton Head Island. Nonetheless, he said he and other council members stand behind the resolution they passed unanimously in May calling for Logan's resignation.
Logan faces Henderson, a retired banker and Cat Island resident, in her re-election bid in November. Henderson collected signatures from more than 9,600 of the county's registered voters to appear on the ballot opposite Logan as a petition candidate.
Henderson declined to comment Thursday on Logan's award.