Home / Business / Court Deposition Remarks By Pedersen Compared To Nuremberg Trials
John Pedersen

Court Deposition Remarks By Pedersen Compared To Nuremberg Trials

City Manager John Pedersen faced deposition on July 8th concerning his role in the shut down of small business owners in what was formerly the Myrtle Beach SuperBlock.

Pedersen retires in November. The “front organization” for the city, The Downtown Redevelopment Corporation (DRC) is now closed. The former Head of the DRC now retired.

Having served their purposes, all disappearing like the morning mist.

Most pieces of the Big Flip are now in place.

Downtown merchants call Pedersen a tyrant, a bully and a deceptive liar.

When we presented the transcript below to several business owners, they likened Pedersen’s answers to those generals pleading ignorance and innocence at Germany’s Nuremburg trials.

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Pedersen stated he was not a legal scholar and could not tell the court what a nuisance property was.

He could not remember conversations with the Mayor’s husband, but when presented with emails, he suddenly remembered.

What happened in downtown Myrtle Beach over the past several years is morally criminal. However, no one will ever go to jail in this matter.

The worst case scenario would be the city’s insurance company writing a check to former Myrtle Beach business owners harmed by Pedersen’s actions.

Under Pedersen’s watch: Myrtle Beach became nationally branded as a criminal town, city pipes broke from one end of town to the other spilling sewage oceanfront, the police department was continually understaffed, high drama and incompetence ruled Myrtle Beach.

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Meanwhile, Pedersen and DRC Head David Sebok continued to orchestrate a failed “Big Flip” effort.

Today witnessed yet another of many ongoing shootings in downtown Myrtle Beach. These shootings have become so commonplace, the media rarely bothers even showing up live to cover.

Tourism down 52%. Crime isn’t. Another Shooting Sunday at Sea Dunes Oceanfront Hotel

Pedersen angled his way through hours of deposition on July 8th much like a matador ducks, misdirects, and dodges his bull in a bullfight.

We are highlighting this round of question and answer between Attorney Tommy Brittain and City Manager John Pedersen concerning Coastal Carolina University, Brown Bethune and the SuperBlock.

The ruse to the public was that a Children’s Museum and a library were going into the SuperBlock. Neither will ever be located there.


Brittain: So what were you doing about that as a city?
Pedersen: Well, we did a number of efforts to work with the property owners. From the time that those properties were first identified, there were plans that were set up, security plans to deal with them. We responded to numerous incidents at both of those properties. And, finally, when those problems continued to persist, we did make a — there was a decision that there was no longer — no longer something that was conducive to the City, and there was a decision that the whole block needed to change.

Brittain: Were you trying to get Coastal Carolina in there?
Pedersen: Coastal Carolina at one point was looking for — well, they were looking for a property in which to put a performing arts theater.

Pedersen: We were trying to get them interested in purchasing a property. And, yes, we were interested in them looking at a property in the Superblock area.

Ultimately, the City did purchase the properties. None of the properties that we’re discussing were there. I think that there was a question as to whether or not that theater could be put in the Pure Ultra Club at one point in time,
but that was discarded because it was just was not a suitable property for the intended purpose.

Brittain: Was Brown Bethune involved in that process?

Brown Bethune
Brown Bethune – Husband of Mayor Brenda Bethune

Pedersen: I think he may have represented — he may have been working with CCU at that point.

Brittain: What is a nuisance under the law in South Carolina?
Pedersen: I don’t know, sir. I don’t know the definition of the law in South Carolina.

Brittain: Do you know to what extent the City used the claim of nuisance against this plaintiff?

Pedersen: I have reviewed the documents relating to the revocation of the business license, and the list for Natalia’s is very similar to the list that I just read for the Pure Ultra Club. And I do believe that that constitutes a nuisance under anyone’s definition.

Brittain: What — are there other businesses in Myrtle Beach that have had murders and the like that are still open and functioning?
Pedersen: Yes.

RipTydz Bar
Ongoing Shootings 2020 around this location. Certainly a high crime nuisance area. Employee Killed In Bar Shooting. Bar treated differently than SuperBlock Bar owners.


Brittain: I mean, like RipTydz Restaurant up on the Ocean Boulevard, they had a murder that occurred right in the building. Isn’t that true?
2 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
Pedersen: That is true.

Brittain: Did you do anything to that? Did you pursue a nuisance claim against RipTydz?
Pedersen: No, sir.

Brittain: Doesn’t the City have an obligation to prevent these sorts of things and protect these businesses? You’re not claiming that James Brady did any of these things, are you? [Brady is suing the city- Brittain’s client]

12 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.

Pedersen: No, sir, of course not.

Brittain then corners Pedersen on his communications about placing Coastal Carolina University in the Superblock in lieu of existing legal businesses.

Brittain: What property rights are guaranteed to citizens of the United States in the United States Constitution?
Pedersen: I’m not a legal scholar, and I could not answer that question.

Brittain: Okay. Do you know whether or not a citizen has a right to free exercise and use of their property?

Pedersen: Again, I don’t know specifically what the Constitution says about property rights.

Brittain: All right, sir. But you’re the city manager of Myrtle Beach; is that correct?
Pedersen: That is correct.
Brittain: Were you involved in efforts to determine what properties should exist in the superblock?
Pederesen: No, sir.
Brittain: You never had any communications with Brown Bethune about getting rid of certain properties and getting other certain properties in position?
Pedersen: Never — what properties should exist?
Brittain: No. What I’m asking you is, did you ever have any email communications with Brown Bethune about, quote, getting rid of bars and moving through properties to put other properties in the superblock?

(Suddenly Pedersen Remembers!)
Pedersen: Yes, there was correspondence with Mr. Bethune that did talk about not having bars in the superblock.
Brittain: Okay. Now, who is Brown Bethune?
Pedersen: Brown is a commercial real estate agent.
Brittain: Okay. Was his involvement in this process something he was doing as a benefit to the City, or was it a profit motive type thing for him?

Pedersen: He was not engaged by the City for this in any way, shape, or form. He’s never had a contract with the City for any real estate work. I have very little recollection of that correspondence, but I think he was representing a property owner on this former superblock looking for a purchaser.

Brittain: Okay. But as far as you know, whatever he was doing he was doing as part of his normal business activities?
Pedersen: Yes, not on behalf of the City.
Brittain: Okay. But do you recall having substantial email communication with him about what was going on in the superblock?

Pedersen: I did not [recall] until I received your correspondence yesterday. I had not thought about that in two years.
Brittain: But you did receive it; right?
Pedersen: Yes.
Brittain: Okay. And so now you see that you had numerous e-mails back and forth with him about what was going on with the superblock; is that correct?

Pedersen: That is correct.
Brittain: All right. And is he kin to anybody on City Council?
Pedersen: He is — as you know, he is married to the mayor.


Brittain: Okay. Did you have any other communications with business real estate developers like you did with Brown Bethune as far as the superblock is concerned?

Pedersen: Not to my recollection.


Because the City Manager has been so suspect of our reporting, we provide the transcript verbatim just as it appeared in deposition as follows:

7 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
8 Q. All right. I heard nothing there.
9 What’s your position with the City of Myrtle Beach,
10 Mr. Pedersen?
11 A. I’m the city manager.
12 Q. How long have you had that position?
13 A. Since November 2014.
14 Q. All right, sir. Do you have any
15 knowledge whatsoever about circumstances
16 surrounding something known as the Pure Ultra Club
17 owned by either James Brady, or JB&HM Enterprises?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. All right, sir. Now, are you familiar
20 with United States Constitution?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. All right, sir. What does the
23 Constitution say about property rights for
24 citizens?
25 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.

2 (Pages 2 – 5)
A. William Roberts, Jr & Assoc. 800-743-3376
A Veritext Company www.veritext.com

John Pedersen July 8, 2020

Brady, James v. City of Myrtle Beach, et al.

Page 6
1 MR. BATTLE: Object to the form.
2 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
3 Q. And let me talk about that. Let’s talk
4 about that. The way this is going to go is these
5 people are going to object to virtually everything,
6 which is fine. That’s the way it works. But here
7 is the way that works. Once that objection is
8 lodged, unless they advise you not to answer the
9 question, we move forward, and the question is
10 answered. I expect there to be numerous
11 objections. This is a very serious matter and very
12 serious claims here. So this is the way it works.
13 Now, they can tell you, do not answer
14 that question, and then that is certified to the
15 judge at a later time. But we’ll have many
16 objections. Listen to them. Unless they advise
17 you not to answer the question, you go past the
18 objection, and you answer the question.
19 All right. You may answer.
20 A. Yes, sir. All right. Will you repeat
21 the question?
22 Q. Yes. What property rights are
23 guaranteed to citizens of the United States in the
24 United States Constitution?
25 MR. CONNOR: Same objection.
Page 7
1 THE WITNESS: I’m not a legal scholar,
2 and I could not answer that question.
3 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
4 Q. Okay. Do you know whether or not a
5 citizen has a right to free exercise and use of
6 their property?
7 A. Again, I don’t know specifically what
8 the Constitution says about property rights.
9 Q. All right, sir. But you’re the city
10 manager of Myrtle Beach; is that correct?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Were you involved in efforts to
13 determine what properties should exist in the
14 superblock?
15 A. No, sir.
16 Q. You never had any communications with
17 Brown Bethune about getting rid of certain
18 properties and getting other certain properties in
19 position?
20 A. Never — what properties should exist?
21 Q. No. What I’m asking you is, did you
22 ever have any email communications with Brown
23 Bethune about, quote, getting rid of bars and
24 moving through properties to put other properties
25 in the superblock?

Page 8
1 A. Yes, there was correspondence with
2 Mr. Bethune that did talk about not having bars in
3 the superblock.
4 Q. Okay. Now, who is Brown Bethune?
5 A. Brown is a commercial real estate
6 agent.
7 Q. Okay. Was his involvement in this
8 process something he was doing as a benefit to the
9 City, or was it a profit motive type thing for him?
10 A. He was not engaged by the City for this
11 in any way, shape, or form. He’s never had a
12 contract with the City for any real estate work. I
13 have very little recollection of that
14 correspondence, but I think he was representing a
15 property owner on this former superblock looking
16 for a purchaser.
17 Q. Okay. But as far as you know, whatever
18 he was doing he was doing as part of his normal
19 business activities?
20 A. Yes, not on behalf of the City.
21 Q. Okay. But do you recall having
22 substantial email communication with him about what
23 was going on in the superblock?
24 A. I did not until I received your
25 correspondence yesterday. I had not thought about
Page 9

1 that in two years.
2 Q. But you did receive it; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. And so now you see that you had
5 numerous e-mails back and forth with him about what
6 was going on with the superblock; is that correct?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. All right. And is he kin to anybody on
9 City Council?
10 A. He is — as you know, he is married to
11 the mayor.
12 Q. Okay. Did you have any other
13 communications with business real estate developers
14 like you did with Brown Bethune as far as the
15 superblock is concerned?
16 A. Not to my recollection.
17 Q. All right, sir. Who are Virginia and
18 Henry Brewington?
19 A. I do not know.
20 Q. Do you know anything about something
21 called Levelz Bar & Grill?
22 A. I remember the Levelz Bar & Grill, yes,
23 sir.
24 Q. Let me ask you this. Does the City
25 have other complaints like the one that is

3 (Pages 6 – 9)
A. William Roberts, Jr & Assoc. 800-743-3376
A Veritext Company www.veritext.com

John Pedersen July 8, 2020

Brady, James v. City of Myrtle Beach, et al.

Page 10
1 currently a part of this lawsuit from James Brady
2 claiming that the City was overbearing and hurting
3 their property rights in the superblock area?
4 A. Not that I recall in the superblock
5 area.
6 Q. Okay. Do you know where Levelz Bar &
7 Grill was?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. Wasn’t that in the superblock area?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. Okay. And didn’t they make a complaint
12 against the City over their treatment there?
13 A. They may have, but I don’t recall the
14 specifics of their complaint.
15 Q. Do you know what the race was of Henry
16 and Virginia Brewington?
17 A. No. As I stated before, I don’t know
18 the Brewingtons.
19 Q. Okay. You never met with them?
20 A. I do not recall ever meeting with them.
21 Q. Okay. Do you know whether or not Tom
22 Ellenburg met with them?
23 A. No, sir, I do not.
24 Q. All right, sir. Do you know who was
25 operating the Pure Ultra Club which was owned by
Page 11
1 James Brady and JB&HM Enterprises, Incorporated?
2 A. My recollection was that it was Hector
3 Melendez.
4 Q. All right, sir. Do you know whether he
5 is a Latino?
6 A. To my knowledge, he is.
7 Q. All right, sir. And you don’t know
8 whether Henry Brewington is black or white?
9 A. No, sir. Once again, I have never met
10 the Brewingtons.
11 Q. Okay. Have you had any complaints from
12 a group call Danny Group, LLC, for similar types of
13 activity, claiming that you were overbearing — not
14 you, but the City was overbearing and trying to
15 harm their business?
16 A. I certainly recall one occasion in
17 which Mr. Brady appeared before Council. I don’t
18 know if he was representing Danny Group at that
19 point or not. There was also — I was told there
20 was a City Council meeting in which he also
21 appeared, one of the few times that I wasn’t there
22 because of a medical issue. But I do recall being
23 there one time when Mr. Brady made a number of
24 allegations about the actions the City had taken.
25 Q. And I appreciate that, and thank you,

Page 12
1 sir. Obviously if you weren’t there, you can’t
2 say. What I’m asking you about now is —
3 A. I was there for one of those occasions.
4 Q. Okay. All right, sir. What I’m asking
5 you about now is whether or not — you may not have
6 knowledge of this. Has Danny Group, LLC, Elmandani
7 Karam, Mohammed Karam sued the City for similar
8 types of claims of misconduct?
9 A. Yes, I believe that they are a party to
10 a similar lawsuit.
11 Q. Okay. And were you involved in any of
12 the activities with the City concerning their
13 property ownership —
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. — in the superblock?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. You were, okay. Did you have
18 conversations with the chief of police?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. Do you recall what the problems were
21 with Danny Group, LLC?
22 A. Yes, sir. Should I refer to a specific
23 document?
24 Q. Yes, anything that you want to, yes,
25 sir.

Page 13
1 A. Okay. I’m referring to the letter from
2 our city business license administrator, Mary
3 McDowell, mailed to Mr. Melendez regarding Pure
4 Ultra Club. In that letter — and the subject of
5 the letter is revocation of the business license —
6 I’m sorry, the suspension pending the appeal, which
7 ultimately — I cannot recall if it was either
8 appealed and withdrawn or not appealed. But
9 ultimately that business license was revoked.
10 But she speaks to unlawful adult
11 entertainment at that location, the public
12 consumption of illegal drugs, illicit sexual
13 activity. That’s the first page. A shooting
14 incident, the unlawful consumption of alcohol after
15 2 a.m. on Sunday, violence taking place in the
16 club, illegal gambling activity, repeated unlawful
17 possession or sale of controlled substances which
18 was documented on security footage, other instances
19 of serving alcohol after 2 a.m. on Sunday, other
20 instances of consumption of illegal drugs on site.
21 And that, I think, is the summary of the
22 allegations that are included in this
23 three-and-a-half-page letter.
24 Q. Well — and I have that letter, and
25 thank you. Certainly then those would have
4 (Pages 10 – 13)
A. William Roberts, Jr & Assoc. 800-743-3376
A Veritext Company www.veritext.com

John Pedersen July 8, 2020

Brady, James v. City of Myrtle Beach, et al.

Page 14
1 resulted in criminal prosecutions; correct?
2 A. Those — it is not the business license
3 administrator’s job to enforce the criminal code.
4 The business license administrator certainly just
5 speaks to the existence or the state of the
6 business license itself. And her job was
7 to make — or in this case, she made a decision to
8 suspend that business license with the knowledge
9 that that suspension would turn into revocation if
10 it was not appealed within 15 days or the City
11 Council ultimately upheld the appeal.
12 Q. She works for the City; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is she a City employee?
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. And so under your protocol, she had an
17 obligation, if those things were true, to refer
18 those to the chief of police of the Myrtle Beach
19 Police Department. You’re not going to let those
20 go without a prosecution, are you?
21 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
22 THE WITNESS: Mr. Brittain, that is not
23 the way it works. The way it works is the police
24 chief gathers that information based on the
25 police — the observations of the Police Department
Page 15

1 and forwards it to the business license
2 administrator for her consideration.
3 (PLF. EXHIBIT 1, One-page 1/9/17 Email
4 String, Bates Stamp 34188, was marked for
5 identification.)
6 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
7 Q. All right, sir. Let me refer you to —
8 if you’ve got the packet the way I sent it, this
9 would be the second sheet in the packet. The
10 number at the bottom is 34188.
11 A. 34188. All right.
12 Q. This is an email from you to David
13 Sebok.
14 A. Okay.
15 Q. Who is David Sebok?
16 A. David Sebok was at the time the
17 executive director of the Downtown Redevelopment
18 Corporation.
19 Q. What was he trying to do?
20 A. Redevelop downtown Myrtle Beach.
21 Q. So that meant getting rid of certain
22 businesses and putting others in there?
23 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
24 THE WITNESS: No, sir, that is not how
25 I would define his job.

Page 16

1 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
2 Q. Okay. When you say redevelopment, here
3 again, I’m just asking, it sounds to me like you’re
4 going to change something. Is that not what was
5 happening, or it is what was happening?
6 A. The idea was to take — I believe that
7 it was City Council’s perception, and one that is
8 commonly held, that the downtown had gotten
9 somewhat dated and run down, and they wanted to
10 restore it to its former place of prominence in the
11 community. And his job was to assist in that
12 process.
13 Q. Okay. So that would require some
14 change; right?
15 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
16 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
17 Q. You may answer. It requires some
18 change — if you’re going to improve it, it
19 requires some change; is that correct?
20 MR. CONNOR: Same objection.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, there were changes
22 involved.
23 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
24 Q. All right. Let me direct you to this
25 exhibit. And I think — let me see if we’ve got it
Page 17
1 right. 34188, those are the last five numbers at
2 the bottom of the exhibit. This is an email from
3 you to David Sebok.
4 A. 34188?
5 Q. 34188. If you’ve got the packet I sent
6 in the form that it came, it would be the second
7 document.
8 MR. BATTLE: If I might interject,
9 Mr. Pedersen, I think the page that Mr. Brittain is
10 referring to is the 30th page in the PDF, so it may
11 be down a bit. That’s 34188; right?
12 MR. BRITTAIN: 34188 is the Bates
13 Stamp.
14 MR. BATTLE: Yeah, that’s — in the
15 PDF, Mr. Pedersen, that’s the 30th page, so it will
16 be towards the back.
17 THE WITNESS: Okay. All right. Let me
18 count them. Okay.
19 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
20 Q. Do you have it?
21 A. Yes, sir, I do.
22 Q. Okay. Now, what I’m looking at here,
23 this looks to me to be like an email from you. It
24 says John Pedersen at the top. It was sent in
25 September 2017. You say: David — I’m assuming
5 (Pages 14 – 17)
A. William Roberts, Jr & Assoc. 800-743-3376
A Veritext Company www.veritext.com

John Pedersen July 8, 2020

Brady, James v. City of Myrtle Beach, et al.

Page 18

1 that’s David Sebok?
2 A. Yes. I think it’s January 0f 2017.
3 Q. Okay, I’m sorry, yeah, January. Right,
4 thank you. It says, “Hector has withdrawn his
5 business license appeal, so we are down to
6 Natalie’s. If Lauren can be ready to go, that
7 would be good. This is progressing nicely. What
8 is the status on Lizzie’s work?”
9 So I have a few questions to ask you
10 about that. You see that. We’re both seeing that.
11 And you sent that email; right?
12 A. That’s correct.
13 Q. Okay. So Hector would be Hector
14 Melendez; is that right?
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. “So you’re down to Natalie.” Who is
17 Natalie?
18 A. I’m sure that who I was referring to
19 there is Natalie Litsey, who was the owner of
20 Natalia’s.
21 Q. And she is suing the City, too, over
22 this stuff, isn’t she?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. Now, is she a veteran of — she’s a war
25 veteran, isn’t she?

Page 19
1 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
2 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
3 Q. Do you know?
4 A. I know that she has represented herself
5 to be one. I have no reason to doubt that.
6 Q. Okay. When you say, “This is
7 progressing nicely,” after having said, “We are
8 down to Natalie’s,” what is progressing nicely?
9 A. I don’t specifically remember what I
10 was referring to there. There was a — there was a
11 decision that the sorts of activities that we had
12 experienced at both Natalia’s, Club Ibiza, and also
13 Pure Ultra Club were not activities that were —
14 they were activities that were detrimental to the
15 entire community.
16 And at that point, there was a decision
17 that the existence of the late-night nightclubs was
18 not conducive to the type of atmosphere that we
19 wanted to have because of the shootings, the
20 murders, the drug use, the sexual events that took
21 place in those properties, and that there were —
22 those properties were closing at that point in
23 time.
24 I think at that point, with Hector’s
25 withdrawal, that had closed one. Previously, I

Page 20
1 believe the Club Ibiza had lost its lease agreement
2 and was no longer in business, and that left — and
3 Levelz had been closed, and I believe that that
4 left Natalia’s as the property from which most of
5 the problems persisted.
6 Q. Okay. So would you accept this
7 premise, that for whatever reason, the City was
8 actively engaged, along with David Sebok, to get
9 rid of these businesses in this area?
10 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
11 THE WITNESS: No, I wouldn’t say —
12 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
13 Q. Why was it progressing nicely —
14 A. May I —
15 Q. — if you weren’t trying to get rid of
16 them?
17 A. May I answer the previous question?
18 Q. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Absolutely. I
19 apologize.
20 A. Not a problem. No, I would not agree
21 to it in the way that it was phrased. I think the
22 City was absolutely committed to dealing with the
23 source of unlawful activity that had long been
24 taking place to the superblock and was detrimental
25 to the entire community.

Page 21
1 Q. So what were you doing about that as a
2 city?
3 A. Well, we did a number of efforts to
4 work with the property owners. From the time that
5 those properties were first identified, there were
6 plans that were set up, security plans to deal with
7 them. We responded to numerous incidents at both
8 of those properties. And, finally, when those
9 problems continued to persist, we did make a —
10 there was a decision that there was no longer — no
11 longer something that was conducive to the City,
12 and there was a decision that the whole block
13 needed to change.
14 Q. Were you trying to get Coastal Carolina
15 in there?
16 A. Coastal Carolina at one point was
17 looking for — well, they were looking for a
18 property in which to put a performing arts theater.
19 We were trying to get them interested in purchasing
20 a property. And, yes, we were interested in them
21 looking at a property in the superblock area.
22 Ultimately, the City did purchase the
23 properties. None of the properties that we’re
24 discussing were there. I think that there was a
25 question as to whether or not that theater could be
6 (Pages 18 – 21)
A. William Roberts, Jr & Assoc. 800-743-3376
A Veritext Company www.veritext.com

John Pedersen July 8, 2020

Brady, James v. City of Myrtle Beach, et al.

Page 22
1 put in the Pure Ultra Club at one point in time,
2 but that was discarded because it was just was not
3 a suitable property for the intended purpose.
4 Q. Was Brown Bethune involved in that
5 process?
6 A. I think he may have represented — he
7 may have been working with CCU at that point.
8 Q. What is a nuisance under the law in
9 South Carolina?
10 A. I don’t know, sir. I don’t know the
11 definition of the law in South Carolina.
12 Q. Do you know to what extent the City
13 used the claim of nuisance against this plaintiff?
14 A. I have reviewed the documents relating
15 to the revocation of the business license, and the
16 list for Natalia’s is very similar to the list that
17 I just read for the Pure Ultra Club. And I do
18 believe that that constitutes a nuisance under
19 anyone’s definition.
20 Q. What — are there other businesses in
21 Myrtle Beach that have had murders and the like
22 that are still open and functioning?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I mean, like RipTydz Restaurant up on
25 the Ocean Boulevard, they had a murder that
Page 23
1 occurred right in the building. Isn’t that true?
2 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
3 THE WITNESS: That is true.
4 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
5 Q. Did you do anything to that? Did you
6 pursue a nuisance claim against RipTydz?
7 A. No, sir.
8 Q. Doesn’t the City have an obligation to
9 prevent these sorts of things and protect these
10 businesses? You’re not claiming that James Brady
11 did any of these things, are you?
12 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
13 THE WITNESS: No, sir, of course not.
14 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
15 Q. Who is Gary Roberts?
16 A. I don’t know Mr. Roberts.
17 Q. Has he been involved in any of these
18 pricing issues or valuation issues concerning the
19 superblock properties?
20 A. I think there is a reference in the
21 materials you sent me yesterday to some
22 conversation that Brown had with Gary Roberts, but
23 I do not know Mr. Roberts. And to my knowledge,
24 I’ve never talked to him.
25 Q. Okay. Would you agree with me that

Page 24
1 concerning these superblock properties, you had
2 numerous emails back and forth between you and
3 Brown Bethune discussing the progress of
4 circumstances in the superblock?
5 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, there were several.
7 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
8 Q. Okay. Do you have emails with other
9 commercial real estate people to the extent you had
10 with Brown Bethune that you’re aware of or could
11 produce to me?
12 A. Not that I recall.
13 Q. Okay. What role did Warren Gall play
14 in interaction with the plaintiff and the operation
15 of his business?
16 A. By play, do you mean with just the Pure
17 Ultra Club?
18 Q. Yes, yes.
19 A. The Police Department — Mr. Gall was
20 at that point in time the police chief. Mr. Gall,
21 Chief Gall and the Police Department identified the
22 issues — documented the issues that were then sent
23 to the business license administrator upon which
24 she made her determination.
25 Q. What about Chief Prock, did she play a
Page 25
1 role in this, or was that before her time?
2 A. I believe that she was the deputy chief
3 at that time. So I’m sure that she was aware and
4 may have been involved in this. I do not know how
5 the chief delegated the work.
6 Q. As part of this process, was there any
7 meetings or discussions about how to get the police
8 down there and deal with these people, or is that
9 something that just happened naturally?
10 A. No, I would not characterize the
11 discussions that way at all. There were
12 discussions, which primarily would have been phone
13 call discussions, about how are we going to fix the
14 occurrence of the unlawful activity.
15 Q. Okay. Did you utilize, quote,
16 inspectors and police officers to deal with these
17 issues?
18 A. We do not — I do not have any
19 recollection of having other inspectors involved in
20 examining those sorts of — with those properties.
21 They may have been, but I do not recall. It is not
22 uncommon for us to send teams of inspectors out
23 there, each of which have responsibility for a
24 different part of our code to look at properties
25 that may be nuisance properties to try to help
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Page 26
1 those properties come into compliance with our code
2 and with the laws of the City and the State. So
3 that is not uncommon. We do that every weekend.
4 Q. I understand that. But give me this.
5 This was an area that the City had an interest in,
6 quote, improving. You don’t deny that, do you?
7 A. Certainly not. Certainly I do not deny
8 it.
9 Q. It is what it is, and we’ll all figure
10 it out in the end. Like, for example, there was an
11 issue up at Jimmagan’s, you know, which is an
12 isolated bar. A lot of these same things happened
13 in Jimmagan’s. But there was no City interest in
14 changing the entire area at Jimmagan’s. But is it
15 fair to say that in the superblock area, there was
16 an interest — and it may be legitimate,
17 Mr. Pedersen. I’m not saying it’s not. But the
18 truth of the matter is, that whatever reason, the
19 City fathers and others had decided that superblock
20 needed to change and be different?
21 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
22 THE WITNESS: By 2016, the City Council
23 and I regarded the superblock as a — the most
24 dangerous area in the City. There was absolutely a
25 commitment to try to address the unlawful activity
Page 27

1 that was taking place there.
2 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
3 Q. And to change ownership in the area?
4 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
5 THE WITNESS: No, sir. The goal of
6 that effort was to clean up the unlawful activity.
7 It was not —
8 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
9 Q. You wanted to —
10 REPORTER: I’m sorry.
11 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
12 Q. Excuse me. Go ahead. You many finish.
13 I apologize.
14 A. I’m sorry.
15 MR. BRITTAIN: I’m sorry, Ms. Shepherd.
16 No, I stepped on top of you, Mr. Pedersen. You go
17 ahead.
18 THE WITNESS: The effect — the purpose
19 for doing what we needed to do, what we did in that
20 area was to stop the unlawful activity that
21 recurred there almost every weekend.
22 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
23 Q. But beyond that, you wanted to get rid
24 of, quote, the bars?
25 MR. CONNOR: Objection to the form.

Page 28
1 MR. BATTLE: Objection to form.
2 THE WITNESS: There was a determination
3 that the illegal activity was primarily coming from
4 the late night activity in the nightclubs in the
5 superblock.
6 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
7 Q. You’re talking to Coastal Carolina
8 University about some sort of a theater there?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you’re trying to change the
11 atmosphere. And part of changing the atmosphere
12 is, quote, getting rid of the bars. Isn’t that
13 true?
14 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
15 THE WITNESS: No, sir, I won’t agree to
16 that. Part of the atmosphere was stopping illegal
17 activity.
18 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
19 Q. And there would be nothing in any
20 emails between you and others talking about getting
21 rid of the bars?
22 A. I’m sure that there is. That would
23 have been based on the conclusion that the bars
24 were the source of almost all of that illegal
25 activity. That was the purpose was to get rid of
Page 29
1 the illegal activity, not to get rid of the bars.
2 (PLF. EXHIBIT 2, One-page 1/22/17 Email
3 String, Bates Stamp 33396, was marked for
4 identification.)
5 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
6 Q. All right, sir. Let me refer you to —
7 and it will probably take Kirk to get us there —
8 Bates Stamp 33396.
9 MR. BATTLE: It’s page 22 in the PDF,
10 Mr. Pedersen, so about two-thirds deep.
11 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Kirk. Okay,
12 what is the number again?
13 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
14 Q. The number that I have here, I’m going
15 on Bates Stamp, is 33396. That would be the last
16 five numbers in the lower right-hand side.
17 A. I’m on that page.
18 Q. Okay. I’m looking at this. It says —
19 from the top, it says from Sebok, David Sebok, just
20 simply, “Agree.”
21 And then it says from John Pedersen, “I
22 saw it. He’s stuck on Fantasy Island again. Da
23 plane! Da plane!”
24 What are you talking about there?
25 A. I’m talking about Mr. Hucks’

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1 description of the reasons why the City takes the
2 actions that it does. Mr. Hucks is and his website
3 are regarded as they’re looking for conspiracies in
4 everything that we do. And, yes, my reference
5 was — of Fantasy Island was this is Mr. Hucks’
6 fantasy as to why the City took the action that it
7 did.
8 Q. Did Mr. Sebok ever share with you that
9 he told Jim Brady and Hector Melendez that they
10 would never be able to operate a bar in the Pure
11 Ultra location?
12 A. No, sir.
13 Q. And that would be wrong if he did that,
14 wouldn’t it?
15 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
16 THE WITNESS: I don’t have any
17 recollection of that conversation.
18 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
19 Q. But it wouldn’t be appropriate for the
20 Redevelopment Commission to tell property owners
21 that they could never operate a bar in that
22 location, would it?
23 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
24 THE WITNESS: I think it would — it
25 would depend on the timing of the comment. And,
Page 31
1 again, I have no knowledge of the comment, so I
2 can’t speculate.
3 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
4 Q. So under some circumstances, you
5 believe it to be proper for David Sebok to relate
6 that to the owner of the property?
7 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, if the decision had
9 been reached that the property was not going to
10 be — that we were going to redevelop the property
11 in a different way, the property needed to be
12 redeveloped in a different way, then, yes, I think
13 it would be appropriate to make that statement.
14 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
15 Q. So this is really where I’m trying to
16 get to with you. And we can always argue about
17 this, but I think what you just told me there was
18 extremely honest. The City had a view of what
19 needed to happen here, and they didn’t want a bar
20 in there. I mean, you just said, if it was
21 consistent with the redevelopment concept — say
22 what you want to say. I’m sorry.
23 A. No, no, I apologize. I interrupted
24 you.
25 Q. No, no, no. What I’m trying to do is

Page 32
1 recall what you just said. And I’m not sure that
2 any of these things make a difference. I’m not
3 trying to trap you. I’m trying to get to the
4 truth. I think the City was trying to change this
5 area, and they wanted to change it. And maybe
6 that’s okay, and maybe it’s not, you know. I’m
7 just trying to find out what the truth of what was
8 happening is. And then we can all figure out later
9 on whether it was appropriate or not.
10 There are allegations in here that
11 Sebok told him he’ll never be able to put a bar in
12 that place. Maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s not. My
13 question to you is, was that ever something that
14 was appropriate for him as the chairman of the
15 Redevelopment Commission to say?
16 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
17 THE WITNESS: I believe I answered that
18 question.
19 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
20 Q. Was it appropriate ever or not?
21 A. With all due respect, I answered that
22 question.
23 Q. Well, I’m confused. I mean, I think
24 you said no. But I thought your previous answer —
25 A. That was not what I said.

Page 33
1 Q. Okay. Well, if it’s not too much of a
2 problem, would you repeat your answer?
3 A. I said it would depend on the timing of
4 that response.
5 Q. My next answer is — my next question
6 is, would it ever have be appropriate for the
7 Redevelopment Commission representative to tell a
8 property owner that a bar could not go in that
9 property?
10 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
11 THE WITNESS: I thought — I don’t
12 understand the difference between the question I’ve
13 answered twice and the one you’re asking me now.
14 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
15 Q. Okay. And it could be my problem,
16 Mr. Pedersen. But it’s a point to me that’s
17 important. Maybe I’m wrong. You’ve got a
18 Redevelopment Commission that is focusing on the
19 area; is that correct?
20 A. Yeah, but a Redevelopment Commission
21 that was focusing on a much larger area.
22 Q. But superblock was part of that?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. Okay. And part of that involved a
25 vision for what people think might be better for
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1 the City or whatever. There is a vision behind
2 that. Isn’t that correct?
3 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
4 THE WITNESS: If I might, the sequence
5 here is you have — I would respectfully assert
6 that you have the sequence backwards. The realty
7 of the situation is that this was an area in which
8 it had been labeled the most dangerous area in
9 Myrtle Beach where we had by any measure a
10 tremendous amount of crime, illegal activities, we
11 had murders there, shootings, drug use, and all the
12 other things I mentioned before.
13 The decision was made what — the
14 decision was made that we needed to fix that
15 illegal activity. That then led to a decision that
16 the way to do that — that the contributor to that
17 was the existence, and most of that illegal
18 activity was related to those late-night clubs.
19 So the first piece of that was to fix
20 the illegal activity. Once the illegal activity is
21 fixed, it does not help the community to then have
22 an the area where there is no successful commerce
23 going on and there is nothing — no economic
24 activity and a bunch of vacant buildings in the
25 heart of downtown.

Page 35
1 So the vision follows that. The vision
2 follows the illegal activity and the desire and
3 need to clean that up with how do we repurpose this
4 area? What is the highest and best use that the
5 area could be put to?
6 It is not the other way, which is where
7 I think your question was going, is let’s get the
8 property and find an excuse to get the businesses
9 out of there.
10 The issue was very clearly to deal with
11 the illegal activity that was taking place on a
12 weekly basis in those bars and nightclubs.
13 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
14 Q. Okay. Let’s deal a minute with the
15 statistics. The statistics for problems in this
16 area are a minor part of the statistics all the way
17 to the beach and Tenth Avenue. I mean, we have —
18 and I think you’re a valiant warrior, and I
19 appreciate all the work you’ve done. We’ve got
20 serious issues here in Myrtle Beach. But you don’t
21 expect me to believe that the statistics in this
22 area overwhelm the statistics in other significant
23 areas of Myrtle Beach as far as illegal criminal
24 activity or concern?
25 Certainly they happened here. But in a

Page 36
1 like manner, they happened in many other areas of
2 Myrtle Beach where there have been no — David
3 Sebok has called up anybody and asked them about
4 anything. You don’t deny that, do you?
5 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
6 THE WITNESS: I think you have to take
7 in consideration the size of the area. Certainly
8 if you look at the size of the former superblock
9 area, that was minuscule in comparison to the size
10 of the areas that you’re talking about. In terms
11 of the intensity within that area, yes, I would
12 maintain that that was the area which was both
13 perceived and actually was probably the area where
14 we had most number of disturbances per any given
15 area. So, yes.
16 We also, in the course of looking at
17 issues like the revocation of business licenses,
18 it’s not nearly the number of those occurrences. I
19 think we acknowledge that every business is
20 susceptible to a rogue activity or a rogue
21 customer, that they can’t come in and commit some
22 unlawful act. We do look at the frequency of those
23 events, what’s done to discourage them, the
24 manager’s efforts to try to discourage them, and
25 the other illegal activity that takes place in
Page 37

1 those locations.
2 You had asked earlier about the
3 RipTydz. That was the decision with respect to
4 that. The RipTydz had a management plan in place.
5 Their staff was doing exactly what they were
6 supposed to do, and this person took out a gun and
7 shot someone. That’s not something that any
8 business owner can stop.
9 But when you intentionally have the
10 type of clientele and host of the types of events
11 that lead to that sort of thing on a routine basis,
12 your management staff takes no responsibility for
13 maintaining order within the nightclub, and there
14 is drug use and sexual activity, illegal alcohol
15 use, then that is a different matter.
16 That is what was going on in the
17 superblock. That is what we tried to fix.
18 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
19 Q. You know, if Jim Brady, after Melendez’
20 business license — I think you pointed out in an
21 email here that we looked at that he had stopped
22 his appeal, now you were down to Natalie. If Jim
23 Brady had proposed a tenant that had a, quote,
24 family business that didn’t involve the type of
25 conduct you’re talking about, would there have been
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Page 38
1 any justification for David Sebok to tell him that
2 would not fly?
3 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
4 THE WITNESS: No, sir.
5 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
6 Q. All right. So let me get this
7 straight. If Jim Brady had a tenant that had a,
8 quote, family business oriented, like — that
9 seemed to be like puzzles and family getting
10 together and interactive activities in the area,
11 and that was proposed, there would be no reason
12 under your understanding of how things were
13 proceeding for Sebok to tell him that he would
14 refuse to approve something like that?
15 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
16 THE WITNESS: As to the premise of the
17 question, Mr. Sebok was never in a position to
18 approve or disapprove any project. So that would
19 not have been a call that he would have made. But
20 had there been a business that was allowed by
21 zoning to move into that property that had that
22 clientele, if Mr. Sebok had been consulted, there
23 would have been no reason for him to have said, no,
24 you should not move in there.
25 BY MR. BRITTAIN:

Page 39
1 Q. Or for the City to prevent such a
2 business activity?
3 A. There would have been no reason for the
4 City to have done that. The only way the City
5 could do that — the only way the City could do
6 that is by denying a business license. And we can
7 only deny a business license if there is something
8 wrong with the applicant, there is something wrong
9 with the property, or the proposed use does not
10 match zoning, but not —
11 Q. And you don’t know what Mr. Sebok —
12 I’m sorry. Go ahead.
13 A. But not because we don’t think that the
14 proposed use is in the best interest of the area.
15 Q. All right, sir. And you have no reason
16 to believe that Mr. Sebok discouraged such a
17 tenant?
18 A. I have no knowledge of his doing that.
19 Q. And that would be wrong for somebody to
20 discourage such a tenant. Isn’t that correct?
21 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
24 Q. Okay. Let me tell you, I just read
25 recently that the City Council is going to consider

Page 40
1 on July the 14th to give you and Chief Prock the
2 absolute right to shut down businesses in Myrtle
3 Beach. Is that something that is pending before
4 the Council?
5 MR. BATTLE: Object to the form.
6 THE WITNESS: The item that is pending
7 that will be brought to Council, currently there is
8 a problem in that, once a business license is
9 revoked, if you look at our business license
10 ordinance, the business license administrator is
11 prohibited by virtue of that ordinance to use — to
12 reissue a business license to that property owner.
13 So it is tantamount to a death sentence. The
14 revocation of a business license is tantamount to a
15 death sentence for that business at that location.
16 What is proposed is the ability to
17 suspend a business license pending the approval of
18 a plan to mitigate the underlying business activity
19 or the underlying nuisance activity so that, once
20 that activity has been mitigated, the property can
21 then be put back into economic use.
22 So that is what is pending before City
23 Council at this point in time. It is a plan to
24 allow for properties to get back on the path where
25 they come into compliance with city code, zoning,
Page 41
1 and state law, without — and to get back into
2 business rather than having to be shut completely
3 down for all times.
4 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
5 Q. All right. But let me — go ahead.
6 Sorry.
7 A. That is what is in front of Council at
8 this point.
9 Q. Okay. Let me press you a little on
10 that. My reading of what I’ve seen is this gives
11 you and the chief of police plenary power to what
12 is called in the industry shutter a business. In
13 other words, there is no council they go to. There
14 is no hearing they go to. You and/or she have the
15 authority, if this passes, without due process of
16 law to shutter a business.
17 Now, I understand they’ve got a chance
18 to come back and change and do. But this is
19 cutting through the normal red tape associated with
20 closing a business, and it’s actually been proposed
21 by this City Council that you have that power and
22 she have that power.
23 A. No, sir, your question —
24 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
25 THE WITNESS: The premise of your
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Page 42
1 question is wrong. Every avenue of appeal that
2 currently exists still exists in this law. So the
3 business property owner, if I were to recommend
4 to — if I were to ask for a suspension of the
5 business license, still has the ability if they
6 choose not to undergo a mitigation plan, they still
7 have the exact same right of appeal as they
8 currently do, which would be first of all an appeal
9 to a hearing officer. The decision of the hearing
10 officer can then be appealed to City Council, and
11 the decision of City Council can be appealed to a
12 circuit court.
13 So there is — absolutely the route of
14 appeal is still preserved in the ordinance that
15 will be in front of Council.
16 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
17 Q. All right, sir. Well, if there is no
18 change to what is currently the procedure, why is
19 anything being proposed?
20 A. Going back to what I said initially,
21 currently the business license administrator may
22 not reissue a business license if a business
23 license has been suspended or revoked in the past
24 year.
25 So the first change is that the

Page 43
1 business license could be reinstated after a
2 suspension. Currently the business license
3 administrator does not have that prerogative.
4 With respect to the suspension of a
5 business license for the purpose of developing a
6 mitigation plan, that is in addition to the
7 ordinance, which again is subject to the same right
8 of appeal, but is to be an intermediary step
9 between allowing the business to continue and
10 completely shutting it down for all time.
11 I think you may be confused because
12 there is also a recommendation that’s out there to
13 change the extraordinary event. Let me back up and
14 say —
15 Q. Yes, that’s what I’m talking about.
16 A. Okay. That is a suspension that by
17 definition would not — cannot be the first thing
18 that’s imposed. But if you have a situation in
19 which the police have to repeatedly go back to the
20 same business time after time, it does give us the
21 ability to close that business until the business
22 is scheduled to reopen the next day or four hours,
23 whichever is longer. So there’s no —
24 Q. When you say “us,” you or Chief Prock;
25 is that correct?

Page 44
1 A. Not quite. It is — the way that it is
2 written is that Chief Prock makes the decision, but
3 I have to concur with it. And it cannot be done
4 the first time we go to a property and say, hey,
5 you’ve got an unruly gang that is hanging out in
6 your parking lot. We have to do that at least
7 once, give you the chance to fix it. On the
8 second, third, fourth, or fifth time, if this is
9 approved, the police would have the right to close
10 the business for the duration of the time that the
11 business was open for that day, but not beyond
12 that.
13 Q. Go ahead, sir.
14 A. It also requires a written notice to
15 the City Council within 12 hours and a public
16 discussion of the reason why that action will be —
17 that action was taken. In the version that will
18 appear before City Council next Tuesday when it is
19 up for first reading, the attorney is adding the
20 appeal process that will mirror the appeal process
21 for the suspension of the business license.
22 Q. But my point is, the change here as far
23 as Council is concerned, if it passes — this
24 hasn’t even passed. Isn’t that correct?
25 A. That is correct.

Page 45

1 Q. This is just a proposal?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. The proposal puts Chief Prock and you
4 in a significant decision making position
5 concerning the operation of business properties in
6 Myrtle Beach?
7 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
8 THE WITNESS: That is a position that
9 the manager already has by virtue of the city code
10 for both extraordinary events and for the
11 declaration of civil emergencies. So that already
12 exists. The existing code already gives the
13 manager that authority with respect to
14 extraordinary events when it comes to retail
15 businesses.
16 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
17 Q. This ordinance includes an expanded
18 definition of extraordinary events, does it not?
19 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir. The ordinance
21 also includes an expanded definition of
22 extraordinary events so that it would, rather than
23 giving us the option of defining a gathering of
24 10,000 people or more, a performance of 10,000
25 people or more, it automatically qualifies such a
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1 gathering as an extraordinary event. The same is
2 true with the appearance of a large political or
3 religious leader. It also would put into effect,
4 would define Memorial Day weekend, the 4th of July
5 weekend, and Labor Day weekend as extraordinary
6 events due to the size of the crowds that we
7 normally have on such weekends.
8 (PLF. EXHIBIT 3, One-page 5/5/16 Email
9 String, Bates Stamp 33731, was marked for
10 identification.)
11 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
12 Q. All right, sir. Thank you very much,
13 Mr. Pedersen. I’d like to refer you now to Bates
14 Stamp 33731. That should be, in the documents I
15 sent, it would be the top document. Kirk will
16 probably have to help you find it. It’s an email
17 from David Sebok.
18 MR. BATTLE: Could you say the number
19 again, please, Tommy?
20 MR. BRITTAIN: I’m sorry. The last
21 five numbers are 33731.
22 MR. BATTLE: 29th page in the stack,
23 Mr. Pedersen.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir. 33731?
25 BY MR. BRITTAIN:

Page 47

1 Q. 33731, yes.
2 A. Okay, got it.
3 Q. Okay. This purports to be an email
4 from David Sebok to Staff Martino, carbon copy or
5 CC to John Pedersen?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And it says in there, among other
8 things — and of course the whole document will
9 come into evidence — but it says there, “You
10 notice I get rid of all bars and bar potentials,
11 and only those existing on Main Street remain.”
12 Now, Pure Luck was on 803 and 805 Main
13 Street. Isn’t that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. “Plus the vacant Shai building in Oak
16 Street.”
17 Now, he was the chairman of the
18 Redevelopment Commission at that time; correct?
19 A. No, he was the executive director.
20 Q. Executive director. So he’s telling
21 you or giving you information that he is getting
22 rid of all the bars and bar potentials in the area.
23 Isn’t that correct?
24 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
25 THE WITNESS: No, I think he — I

Page 48
1 believe that he — this is part of his visioning of
2 what the superblock could look like.
3 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
4 Q. Okay. I understand that. I’m sure
5 that’s what it is. That’s my point. The vision
6 is, I get rid of all bars and bar potentials.
7 Go ahead. I’m sorry.
8 A. There was realization that there was a
9 lot of illegal activity in that area. There was a
10 discussion about locating the — a library and a
11 children’s museum close to that area as well. Part
12 of that involved a visioning of what needed to
13 change around the block to be consistent with that.
14 But there was —
15 Q. That’s my point. I’m sorry. That’s my
16 point. There was a vision being expressed here of
17 a final product that would, quote, get rid of all
18 bars and bar potentials, because he’s going to put
19 a children’s museum in there?
20 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
21 THE WITNESS: The decision was that we
22 need to do something about the illegal activity.
23 The question then was, if you get rid of — if that
24 unlawful activity is mitigated by eliminating the
25 threat that is posed by these late-night pubs and
Page 49
1 the source of that illegal activity, what comes
2 next?
3 So, again, I object to the sequence
4 that you’re putting things. This is not a decision
5 that we want to put a library here, now let’s gin
6 up a police reason for eliminating these bars.
7 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
8 Q. Okay. Well, it speaks for itself. You
9 agree with me, you didn’t send anything back saying
10 anything to him to the contrary; true? I don’t see
11 it.
12 MR. CONNOR: Object to the form.
13 THE WITNESS: It doesn’t appear in this
14 stack. I don’t know if I did or not.
15 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
16 Q. I can’t see anything that you sent back
17 to him.
18 A. Yeah, I don’t have —
19 Q. You don’t deny receiving this email?
20 A. No, sir.
21 Q. And that’s what’s ended up happening,
22 isn’t it? All the bars, for whatever reason,
23 however it happened, have been eliminated from the
24 area?
25 MR. CONNOR: Object to form.
13 (Pages 46 – 49)
A. William Roberts, Jr & Assoc. 800-743-3376
A Veritext Company www.veritext.com

John Pedersen July 8, 2020

Brady, James v. City of Myrtle Beach, et al.

Page 50
1 THE WITNESS: The bars were closed as a
2 result of illegal activity.
3 BY MR. BRITTAIN:
4 Q. Only?
5 A. And that — no. I don’t believe Levelz
6 is part of the discussion. I can’t recall the
7 specifics there. But with respect to Natalia’s,
8 that was the case. With respect to Pure Ultra
9 Club, that was the case. The lease had expired on
10 Club Ibiza. The City acquired the property. We
11 did not agree to allow that business to reopen in
12 that area. We ultimately ended up with a financial
13 buyout for Club Dare.
14 Q. You say “we.” You mean the City paid
15 for that property?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So was that particular owner, instead
18 of whatever happened to these others, you actually
19 paid and ended up purchasing that property for the
20 City?
21 A. No, we did not purchase it. We
22 assisted that business owner with relocation
23 expenses. We had no documentation of illegal
24 activity coming from that club.
25 Q. So what happened to that club?
Page 51

1 A. It moved elsewhere.
2 Q. What happened to the property?
3 A. It’s still privately owned.
4 Q. Okay. All right, sir.
5 A. But we had no documentation — we had
6 no documentation of any illegal activity coming
7 from that source.

Depo Transcript Pedersen-Cond by David L Hucks on Scribd


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About David Hucks

Born in 1961, David is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area.David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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