Atlantic Beach, SC - ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges led to the suspension of Police Chief Andy Rizzo in October 2009, Atlantic Beach officials say Tuesday they have chosen a new person to take over Rizzo's position within the town.
Lewis has faced controversy of his own, dashcam video surfaced showing him racing another North Myrtle Beach police officer last year.
"The controversy that exists outside of Atlantic Beach has no bearing on what goes on here in Atlantic Beach" said town manager William Booker.
Eric C. Lewis, a previous sergeant for the North Myrtle Beach Police Department, had his first day as police chief on Wednesday. The Horry County native, according to officials, brings 21 years of law enforcement experience to the small town wedged between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach.
"I know [Eric] will be a great asset to the town and police department," said William Booker, town manager for Atlantic Beach. The town currently has four active police officers and Chief Lewis will be responsible for all of their duties.
Rizzo was arrested around 3 a.m. on Oct. 28 outside of Break Room Billiards in Conway. Rizzo was released later that morning after paying a fine of $257.50.
Atlantic Beach Police Cpl. Charles Bryant had taken over as acting chief until Lewis was named as the new chief. Chief Lewis will not be under contract, his predecessor Randy Rizzo however did have a multi-year contract with the town.