On December 8, 2018, we first ran a story about two lawsuits being pursued by Tommy Brittain against the City of Myrtle Beach and the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation. After two and half years, it appears the case may finally be heard by a jury.
In August, we ran a follow-up story about the two pending lawsuits filed against the City of Myrtle Beach, John Pederson, David Sebok, and the Downtown Redevelopment Corporation for intentionally harassing and closing several businesses in the SuperBlock. Danny Group, LLC, et.al., vs. The City of Myrtle Beach, et.al., 4:19-cv-0287-JD and Brady, et.al., vs. The City of Myrtle Beach, et.al., 4:19-cv-00107-JD. The business owners claimed that the City of Myrtle Beach and the remaining defendants (1) violated the business owners’ constitutional rights through the intentional interference with their businesses and (2) engaged in a conspiracy to discriminate against the business owners (all were of which were latino, African American or Arab-American) on the basis of race. In that August article, we posted portions of the deposition transcripts in the case for public viewing. They were quite revealing.
The City, Pederson, Sebok and the DRC filed motions to dismiss the case in November 2020 claiming that all claims were without merit. This morning, the Honorable Joseph Dawson (a Trump appointee to the federal bench) issued his rulings denying those motions in large part. Judge Dawson did dismiss several individual plaintiffs and some claims for breach of contract. However, the real news is that Judge Dawson ruled that the plaintiffs will be allowed to present their claims of constitutional violations and racial discrimination to a federal jury.
This is yet another legal woe from the litigation-plagued administration in the City of Myrtle Beach. Just last year, the Myrtle Beach and Horry County paid $11.25 million in settlement monies to Julian Belton for a botched raid on a Myrtle Beach apartment. While we don’t know how much the plaintiffs are seeking in the SuperBlock case, it deals with the closing of three separate bars in the SuperBlock. Therefore, it is fair to assume that the damages will be substantial.
All of this leads to increased interest in the trial of Brewington v. City of Myrtle Beach, et.al, that is currently scheduled to begin in Horry County on June 21, 2021. That case deals with the former Club Levelz and similar claims of harassment against the City in a separate lawsuit. The Brewington case originated in the federal courts, but the City was successful in dismissing the federal claims in that case. The trial on June 21, 2021 deals with many of the same factual issues in the Brady and Danny Group cases, and will likely provide a glimpse into how a jury will rule on such disturbing allegations.
This organization has repeatedly pointed out the corruption, waste, and downright illegality perpetrated by the current administration (and “Former” City Manager John Pederson) over the years. The chickens are finally coming home to roost, and not in a good way. To the author, Judge Dawson’s rulings leave three questions to be answered:
- How much more will the citizens of Myrtle Beach keep picking up the tab for Pederson, Bethune and the rest of the “leaders” of Myrtle Beach?
- How many more millions will taxpayers have to pay to settle the lawsuits caused by the actions of this incompetent administration?
- How do the people engaging in wrongful conduct escape punishment while the little people get stuck with the bill?
In Myrtle Beach, it seems, the answers to these questions are simple and to the point. The answers are (1) it depends on how long the citizens allow them to stay in office; (2) keep counting, a little bird told me the Myrtle Beach Chamber is getting ready to be thrown in the mix as well; and (3) you are in Horry County, what did you expect?