The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corp. has just one candidate left for the CEO’s recently vacated position, but won’t reveal the name until a Friday meeting of the Horry County Council.
The job became available when Brad Lofton, the former CEO, resigned in late July to take an economic development job in middle Georgia. Lofton, who oversaw a surge in new and expanding businesses in Horry County, had been with the agency for more than three years.
State law says that names of candidates for jobs with governments and publicly-funded organizations such as the MBREDC become public information after an initial list is narrowed to no fewer than three candidates. But Fred Richardson, MBREDC board chairman, would not release the name at a Wednesday morning meeting of the EDC’s executive committee.
Richardson said the executive committee still must vote on the candidate before he is hired and that won’t come before the group meets again.
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“It seems to me that Friday will give you and everyone a chance to fully vet the candidate,” he said.
While the name is public record, the EDC technically can hold it from release for 15 working days after the organization gets a written request seeking it, said Jay Bender, attorney for the S.C. Press Association.
The state’s Freedom of Information Act provides for the delay in getting public records in most cases. Certain documents, such as those pertaining to people who are jailed, are to be available for public inspection during the working hours of the office that has the records.
Richardson said the candidate has economic development experience and works in South Carolina. He wouldn’t give other details.