MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The attorney representing the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce in a lawsuit against the organization, which was filed by a former member, is asking that paragraphs containing the words "crony" and "crony companies" be stricken.
In a motion filed Friday, attorney Henrietta Golding states the use of those terms when referring to businesses and individuals not named as defendants in the lawsuit is "impertinent, improper, and scandalous."
"The Plaintiff's use of the terms 'crony' and 'crony companies' is a blatant attempt to cast the Plaintiff and various private persons and companies in a prejudicial and negative light, bordering on slander," the motion states. "Because the use of the term 'crony' is scandalous and impertinent, the term should be stricken from the Complaint. A scandalous matter 'consists of an unnecessary allegation bearing cruelly on the moral character of an individual, or stating matter contrary to good manners or unbecoming the dignity of the court to hear.'"
Karon Mitchell filed the lawsuit on April 5 and named the MBACC as a defendant, as well as the city of Myrtle Beach and Horry County.
In her suit, Mitchell alleges portions of the tourism development fee were sent to eight businesses started by current or former chamber employees, and that these companies were chosen "solely for their connection to MBACC and not for any 'research based outcomes.'"
At a news conference last week, MBACC board chairwoman Carla Schuessler said the lawsuit was filled with unsubstantiated allegations and baseless accusations.
"We reject this meaningless and mean-spirited attack," Schuessler said. "Had she (Mitchell) simply asked questions we would have answered them. We have no choice but to refute it in the court of law."