Tag: Regional Economic Development Corporation

Controversial EDC Project Blue on Hold for Now

Controversial MBREDC Project Blue on Hold

The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation has requested the final vote by Horry County Council on Project Blue incentives be delayed from its currently scheduled September 4, 2012 regular council meeting.

Third reading approval and public review of Ordinance 53-12 is currently listed as a published agenda item for the September 4th meeting. The ordinance proposes to issue up to $8 million in county general obligation debt to help fund incentives of the project. The agenda will have to be amended to delay third reading.

According to information we have received, EDC CEO Brad Lofton notified county officials in an e-mail late Thursday afternoon that, while the project retains full support of the EDC, the agency was requesting a short delay before third reading is considered by council.

Project Blue ran into trouble earlier in the week when myhorrynews.com broke a story about the criminal history of Covation COO David L. Rocker, which includes a tax fraud conviction, jail sentence and continuing tax liens.

Controversial EDC Project Blue on Hold for Now

Public Money, Corporate Welfare

The revelations Monday of a tax fraud conviction and jail sentence for one of the company officials associated with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation’s Project Blue leads to a conclusion of an apparent shocking lack of due diligence by a number of entities charged with fiscal responsibility for the expenditure of public money.

In many state and local jurisdictions throughout the U.S., conviction of a felony by a corporate officer, especially one associated with tax fraud, would automatically exempt a company from consideration for public money economic development incentives. Such does not appear to be the case in Horry County or South Carolina.

The EDC has put together a deal that would involve approximately $24 million in local and state incentives to Covation, a startup company with no demonstrated performance records.