Horry County Council chairman responds to Chief Saundra Rhodes' retirement

Horry County Council chairman responds to Chief Saundra Rhodes' retirement

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus has only known one county police chief and that's Saundra Rhodes.

While trying to get to the bottom of what many are wondering, WMBF News asked Lazarus if the recent firings and investigations into the department could have let to her retirement.

"Not from our standpoint it didn't," Lazarus said. "From her standpoint, I don't know. I don't know that reasoning. The only thing that I know is that she turned in for her retirement and was wanting to retire, so we accepted that resignation and retirement."

As WMBF News has previously reported, there are several open State Law Enforcement Division investigations into the Horry County Police Department right now.

Lawsuits filed against the department also bring to light allegations former HCPD Det. Allen Large sexually harassed a victim he was allegedly assigned to help.

Additionally, reports show Det. Darryl Williams resigned after it was found he closed child abuse cases far too early, if investigated at all.

Finally, two more officers, Luke Green and Tim Troxell, were both disciplined on the same day in relation to an incident during a prostitution sting two years ago.

These are details Lazarus admitted he found troubling.

"Of course I do. It's very concerning when you have a police department the size that we do and things like that are happening," he said. "We are very concerned. It's out of our hands. It's in other law enforcement's hands and I'm sure that the investigation will come through and we'll take appropriate actions when necessary."

As for Rhodes, Lazarus really only had positive things to say.

"She's had a stellar 23 year career in law enforcement and she felt that it was time for her to take retirement and take some time for herself and look at some other opportunities for her future, which I'm sure are great," he said.

Like Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, Lazarus also believed her reason for retiring now.

He added he did not know the set amount of money Rhodes will receive with her retirement.

After contacting the county spokesperson, WMBF News was told that information will be released with the rest of a previously submitted Freedom of Information Act request.

Rhodes' last day is May 6.

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