CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – News 13 continues to look into the deal that allowed former Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes to retire early.
After days of officials not returning our calls or saying they had “no comment” on who approved the more than $60,000 payment, Horry County Public Safety Committee Chairman Al Allen confirmed it was County Administrator Chris Eldridge that made the deal with Rhodes.
Allen called it a personnel issue and said council leaders did not have to vote on it.
“With our council to county administrator form of government, the county administrator is responsible for hiring and firing and employment type within the county,” said Allen.
County Council leaders we talked to said they’ve never known a deal like this to happen without the approval of council.
We asked Horry County Administrator why he made the deal, and he claimed was a personnel matter and walked away from our news crew saying he had “no comment”.
Tuesday, Horry County Council member Paul Prince sat down and talked openly with us saying he would take questions to county leaders at Wednesday’s Horry County Public Safety Committee meeting.
The agenda for the meeting was changed to allow for an executive session where county leaders met with their attorney at the beginning.
He and other council members claimed they didn’t know anything about the deal and had never voted to approve the payment.
After Wednesday’s meeting, we asked Prince if his questions were answered.
“I guess I can’t answer that because I don’t want to get sued,” said Prince.
We’re working to find out why the decision to pay for Rhodes to retire early would only have to go through the county administrator and not be voted on by council.