SLED investigation into possible Horry County extortion complete

SLED investigation into possible Horry County extortion complete
SLED investigating Horry County extortion allegations

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division’s investigation into possible extortion in Horry County is now in the hands of the Solicitor Jimmy Richardson.

Richardson confirmed the news to WMBF News.

He said that he received the investigation on Thursday and his deputy chief is reviewing the case. Richardson said the review should be complete next week.

A request was made by the Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge in December for SLED to review possible extortion.

Eldridge claimed that newly sworn-in Horry County Councilman Johnny Gardner tried to manipulate Sandy Davis, director of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation, during a meeting with his associate Luke Barefoot.

WMBF obtained a memo from our news partner My Horry News written by the county’s attorney Arrigo Carotti that detailed the meeting and the events since then.

The memo said that Barefoot threatened to have Grand Strand Daily blogger Paul Gable write a disparaging story about Davis’ lack of education unless the MBREDC hired Donald Smith for the organization’s public relations work. Smith could provide those services for $30,000 or $40,000.

Davis has said that the memo does not accurately describe her meeting with Gardner.

Copyright 2019 WMBF. All rights reserved.