Proposed ordinance banning sex offenders from child-oriented businesses sent to AG’s office

Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 6:01 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - A proposal to ban sex offenders from working at child-oriented businesses in Horry County has been put on hold due to legal concerns.

The main concern was brought to Solicitor Jimmy Richardson by Horry Country Treasurer Angie Jones, who would be enforcing the ordinance if passed.

She recommended the ordinance be reviewed by Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office to deem if it was constitutional.

“It’s going to take some time,” said Richardson.

It all started after Horry County Council learned about a man running an ice cream truck in his neighborhood who was a convicted sex offender.

Currently, there’s nothing legally keeping a sex offender from opening a daycare or working at a mini-golf course or water park.

Jones says the purposed of the ordinance, to protect children is great, but felt the way it’s currently written is vague.

“I’m not going to do something that’s unconstitutional,” said Jones.

Councilman Johnny Vaught agreed the current language needs to change otherwise it will be a nightmare to enforce.

“I don’t believe in making laws just because we can,” said Vaught.

WMBF reached out to the Attorney General’s office which said it received the county’s opinion request. Those requests are handled in the order received.

There’s also legislation pending in the general assembly dealing with the sex offender registry which could affect this ordinance as well.

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