A defiant and embattled Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carotti addressed County Council today firing a shot at incoming Chairman Johnny Gardner. “I would advise the County Council Chairman not to act in any way that might be perceived as a conflict of interest,” said Carotti.
Carotti and Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge are each on the hot seat after working with Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation [MBREDC] Director Sandy Davis in producing an audio recording that Eldridge claims is an effort by Gardner to extort the MBREDC. An emailed memo of the timeline of those events was sent to County Council and leaked to blogsite Fitsnews which published the memo to the public on December 20, 2018.
December 20th was the incoming Chairman’s Inauguration day.
MBREDC C.E.O. Davis has called the memo largely fabricated. Using the memo as leverage, Eldridge called in the State Law Enforcement Division on December 20th. The SLED findings have not been returned as of this publication. Questions remain as to which of the three are lying.
MyrtleBeachSC News published our findings on that report here: https://myrtlebeachsc.com/lawyers-memo-and-timeline-on-county-extortion/
At today’s hastily called meeting, both bureaucrats fought to be heard as their futures were equally and publicly discussed by council members. County Councilman Worley told Carotti and Eldridge that if their claims (that the Chairman worked to extort the MBREDC) were unfounded he would vote to fire them both. “You won’t have to, sir. I’ll quit,” Carotti responded. “If I lose the trust of my client, I’ll quit. You don’t have to play any politics when it comes to me. I’m an attorney. I’ll quit.”
County Councilman Tyler Servant can be heard in the video above stating each deserved to be innocent until proven guilty. However, neither of the two are on trial. As this is not a court of law, neither Carotti’s nor Eldridge’s guilt nor innocence are the main concern. Rather, concerns are whether the two conspired to do political harm to the incoming chairman.
Unless the Chairman is found guilty of extortion, and is removed from office, it is hard to imagine how the two can continue to work in Horry County government.
Carotti informed the group today that both he and Eldridge have each hired lawyers to represent them. As we reported last week, MBREDC C.E.O. Davis is represented by local Horry County Attorney Morgan Martin.
Ten Councilmen ultimately voted no, with Gardner and Al Allan voting yes to go into executive session. The meeting was immediately adjourned.
PUBLICLY RELEASE THE AUDIO FOR ALL
MyrtleBeachSC News requests of Davis and Steele: The memo and the audio needs to be released at once.