Aaron Holly, the owner of Skydive Myrtle Beach, has individually served Horry County Councilmen, including council chair Mark Lazarus, a 160-page complaint. The complaint is an action to redress the deprivation of Plaintiff’s (Holly and Skydive Myrtle Beach) constitutional rights under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
The suit states that (Defendants) Horry County Council, working with its Horry County Department of Airports and along with the FAA, wrongfully closed the attraction, Skydive Myrtle Beach, claiming over 100 violations against the small business owner. The complaint states that there was no investigation done by the Defendant(s), nor any complaint, video, or pictures to the alleged violations. The suit also states, in regards to these supposed violations, no ordinance violations were imposed, monetary fine paid, civil penalty imposed or penalty paid to the alleged violation.
Each allegation, by law, should require an investigation by the FAA. Each allegation should have carried a $500 fine from Horry County and an $11,000 fine from the FAA. No such fines from either were documented.
The complaint includes landing zone violations alleged and cited by the county on days when Skydive Myrtle Beach planes were actually unable to fly because of weather conditions or other reasons. No landing zone violations could have occurred on those days because the planes never left the ground.
Aerial Footage of SkyDive Myrtle Beach Jumps
Myrtle Beach and Horry County have recently been at the forefront of lawsuits concerning wrongful small business closings. Club Levelz of Myrtle Beach is also currently suing the city of Myrtle Beach and Horry County for conspiring together to close its small business in 2015.
A website put in place by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, THINK MYRTLE BEACH, states: [Concerning Red Tape and Government Regulations] Many business owners and would-be proprietors are motivated by similar issues to pack up and head to the sunny south, where the business climate is warm and inviting. “Those statements simply are not true,” said one local attorney representing a small Myrtle Beach business concern. “The Myrtle Beach area is one of the most toxic climates for small businesses in America. Local merchants are afraid to even speak out concerning their own private business rights because of fear of retaliation by elected leaders who work in conjunction with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. ”
Horry County Council Chairman, Mark Lazarus himself, has long held ties to Brad Dean and the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, previously serving on the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Board. Lazarus also owns Wild Water and Wheels, a local attraction that competes with other area attractions for tourist dollars.
Also served in the complaint were the Horry County Department of Airports , as well as Horry County employees: Defendant’s Pat Apone, Jason Terri, Charles Bree, Chad Cox, Ed Dingley, Brett Cullen, Heather Solomon, Jack Teal, Tim Jackson, Nicol Lucas, Randall Smith, Buddy Lawrence Martin, Sarah Glanders, Lori Locklear, Nikki Lucas, Kirk Lovell, Ray Griffin, and Marion and Lisa Bourcier.
Federal Aviation Administration inspectors James Cline, James Dangerfield, Howard Hollis, Gary Pendleton, Robert Giguere, and Darrel Mc Millen are also being sued in the complaint.
Before our article aired, MyrtleBeachSC.com reached out to Horry County Council Chair Mark Lazarus and Councilman Johnny Vaught. Neither chose to respond to our request for their input on this lawsuit.