Auto body shopin Sullivan's Island, SC

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The Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration Difference

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

One of the unfortunate realities about driving and owning cars in the Lowcountry is that you will probably have to deal with some form of body damage at some point. Whether your driver-side door gets dinged in a parking lot or you back into a light pole, accidents happen. The good news? Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration is here to help with all of your body shop needs.

Unlike many fly-by-night collision repair companies, our auto body shop in cityname, state has served hardworking people for years. We make it a point to only employ the most experienced, highly-trained auto body technicians available, so you have peace of mind that we'll get the job done right. In fact, our mechanics have more than 60 years of combined experience. There is no collision repair job that we haven't handled - from minor bumps and scratches to complex repairs stemming from multi-car accidents.

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality body shop services at the most reasonable prices in town. We believe that everyone deserves to have their car or truck repaired when they need it the most. After all, our vehicles are crucial to daily life. We need them to live, work and play. We use them for just about every activity we enjoy, from taking the kids to soccer practice to hitting the gym on a Saturday morning. That's why we work with just about every car insurance company out there to ensure that our loyal customers have access to the best collision repair in South Carolina.

Customers choose Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration because they know we strive to exceed their expectations. At the end of the day, we want to do right by our customers with reliable body shop services, high-quality repair work, and helpful customer service. But that's not all. Our clients enjoy peace of mind with their collision repairs because we:

auto body shop Services

SERVICE AREAS

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Provide Free Estimates: Drop by our shop or call our office to learn more about our free estimates. Once we understand the scope of your restoration needs, our team will get to work.

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Offer 100% Guarantee: We have become a staple in our community because we guarantee our work 100%. If we missed the mark, made a mistake, or you're unhappy with our service, let us know. We'll make it right.

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Specialize in Full-Service Repairs: Our collision mechanics make repairs on all vehicle makes and models, so you don't have to worry about whether we can service your car. As a full-service collision repair company in South Carolina, we help every step of the way, from the moment we meet until you leave our parking lot.

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Love to Paint: Yes, you read that right. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we have a team of incredibly talented car painters to supplement our collision services. We offer various auto painting services, from minor paint jobs to full-scale custom paint projects.

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Accept Car Insurance: As daily drivers and locals in South Carolina, we know that collision repairs can be pricey. Despite the cost, they are necessary for daily life. That's why we're happy to work with car insurance companies, so you can go where you need to go without stressing about safety.

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Work Hard for You: At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we try to keep it simple. You can rest easy knowing that there's no fine print, sleazy sales tactics, or lazy mechanics to worry about. When you pull into our parking lot, know that we prioritize good old-fashioned hard work and reliable service. No if's, and's, or but's.

Your First Choice for Collision
Repair in Sullivan's Island, SC

According to recent statistics from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, a new traffic accident happens every 3.7 minutes in South Carolina. That's a lot of car accidents in a short amount of time. Being involved in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, filled with complex insurance claims and complicated auto body repairs. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we know how stressful it can be to have your care restored to its pre-collision beauty. That's why we offer comprehensive, streamlined auto body services and unsurpassed car restoration quality.

With more than 60 years of combined body shop experience in South Carolina, our repair techs leave no stones unturned and never take shortcuts when repairing your vehicle. We're proud to say we only use the latest diagnostic techniques, equipment, and parts to get the job done right. That way, you can get back on the road quickly and safely.

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

A few of our most common auto body shop services include but are not limited to:

Frame Repair in Sullivan's Island

Studies show that about 50 percent of vehicles suffer some kind of frame damage in a car collision. Frame damage can occur easily, even in common situations involving minor fender benders. Often, frame damage is difficult to see and can go unnoticed by insurance adjusters. The unfortunate truth is that even minor frame damage can put you, your family, your friends, and your car at risk when driving. When it goes unnoticed, it can often spell disaster for everyday drivers who might think their car is fine to drive.

When your car's frame is bent, your alignment is usually off, too, causing you to swerve and veer while driving. At best, this scenario results in unnecessary wear on your tires and, at worst, results in a car wreck. The bottom line? You need to get your car's frame inspected by a team of professional collision repair experts, even if you've only been involved in a minor accident.

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we take a comprehensive approach to frame repair and alignment. Our highly-trained frame repair technicians use a multi-point process to diagnose and correct your frame problems by:

  • Inspecting your car and its frame visually to discover any denting or bending.
  • Our alignment machine uses hydraulics and torque to strengthen your car's frame back to factory specs.
  • If our technicians spot damage, we'll begin the restoration process by placing your car on our frame alignment machine.
  • Once your frame is fixed, we'll answer any of your questions and will send you back on the road with a safe-to-drive vehicle.

Your First Choice for Collision Repair in Sullivan's Island, SC

Chips and cracks are bad news for your car's windshield and don't just look bad - they can do serious damage when left unrepaired. Cracks and chips can quickly turn from a minor inconvenience to a safety hazard by impairing your vision. If your windshield crack is bad enough, you might even get pulled over by a police officer. Driving your vehicle with a large crack or even with an object embedded in it is a bad idea, but Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration is here to help.

Our windshield repair technicians have years of experience repairing car windows and windshields for many types of automobile glass, including side and rear windows. If you have been involved in a collision and need new glass, we can help facilitate that process and install a new windshield without you ever lifting a finger. New glass is usually needed with serious car wrecks, and it's always best to trust a professional auto body shop in cityname, state to get the job done. Our team uses the most modern glass and adhesives on the market, so you know your windshield and windows are high-quality and ready for the road.

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

Whether you have a chipped windshield or need all-new glass for your car, we're here to serve you.
Out car windshield and glass repairs include:

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

Door Glass

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

Vent Glass

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

Quarter Glass

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

Back Glass

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

Windshield Glass

Paintless Dent Removal in Sullivan's Island

Any kind of item or stray piece of debris can dent your car. If you've been driving for at least a few years, chances are you've parked at a grocery store and, after shopping, returned to your car to see a big, unsightly dent. Whether they're due to inclement weather or rocks on the highway, dents cause noticeable damage that only gets worse with time. One of the most common dent repair solutions is paintless dent removal - a process that removes dents in your vehicle without removing any paint.

Paintless dent removal is great because it is not invasive and is a very efficient, cost-effective way to fix car dents before they get even worse. There are no fillers or sanding involved, making this option one of the quickest ways to remove dents. At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, our dent removal technicians use several tools to gently massage dents out of your car. When we're done, we'll smooth everything back into place, leaving your car looking like new.

To make matters even better, most paintless dent removal is supported by car insurance agencies, meaning you may not pay a cent out of pocket for our dent removal services.

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

Classic Car Restoration
in Sullivan's Island

At Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration, we are very passionate about classic car restoration and offer a wide range of restoration services in Sullivan's Island. We understand that no two classic car restoration projects are the same, which is why we offer a wide variety of services. We're talking mechanical upgrades, partial restorations, and full car restoration projects. If you have a repair, upgrade, or restoration plan in mind, chances are we can help you achieve your goals.

After we perform an initial inspection and provide you with a detailed estimate on the scope of work needed to restore your car, our seasoned technicians will get to work on your project.

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

Our full-scale classic car restoration process includes:

Auto Body Work Overhaul

Painting

Mechanical Repairs

Repair Interior

Custom Auto Body Painting in Sullivan's Island

When was the last time you got compliments on your car's paint? If you loved your car's paint when it was brand new but hate what it looks like now, Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration can help you fall back in love with your vehicle. Whether your current paint job looks old and faded or you're craving a new color to show off, our paint technicians can deliver what you're looking for.

Between our advanced painting tools and uber-talented vehicle painting experts, our team can transform your car's aesthetic appeal, no matter the make and model. We can even fix dings and scratches in your paint while we're at it, so your car is shiny, smooth, and ready to turn heads.

We offer various auto painting services, from minor paint jobs to full-scale custom projects. We're happy to work with budgets of all sizes and can accommodate all of your painting needs, whether you want to paint a daily driver or a show car.

We recommend you call our office today, so we can get to know you a little better and understand what kind of paint job your car needs. We're happy to chat about cars and your paint job, even if you're just inquiring. After all, we're more than the best body shop in Sullivan's Island - we're enthusiasts, too.

Auto Body Shop Sullivan's Island, SC

Your First Choice for Collison
Repair in Sullivan's Island, SC

If you're on the hunt for the highest-quality auto body repair services in South Carolina, backed by decades of experience, look no further than Lowcountry Paint Body & Restoration. We put our customer's needs first and strive to exceed expectations with every service we offer - all at a price you can afford. Swing by our body shop or contact our office today to discover why we're the Lowcountry's first choice in collision repair.

Troop-Films-LLC-phone-number(843) 996-4995

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Latest News in Sullivan's Island, SC

Sullivan’s Island restaurant opens with fresh fish, ’1970s-inspired’ beachside aesthetic

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Sullivan’s Seafood Restaurant was an island staple from 1988 until Sept. 6, 2020, when owners Sammy Rhodes and Donna Rhodes Hiott permanently closed the local favorite. Ben and Kate Towill hope their restaurant — which opened in the 2019 Middle St. space May 17 — will honor the building’s past while ushering it into the future.Sullivan’s Fish Camp is now open, serving customers local seafood an...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Sullivan’s Seafood Restaurant was an island staple from 1988 until Sept. 6, 2020, when owners Sammy Rhodes and Donna Rhodes Hiott permanently closed the local favorite. Ben and Kate Towill hope their restaurant — which opened in the 2019 Middle St. space May 17 — will honor the building’s past while ushering it into the future.

Sullivan’s Fish Camp is now open, serving customers local seafood and beach-themed cocktails Tuesday through Sunday.

The Towills are the owners of design and hospitality firm Basic Projects. Kate, head of design for the Charleston-based company, has led the design of residential and commercial properties, including an athletic club and Basic Projects’ two other restaurants: Basic Kitchen and Post House.

Alongside her husband, Basic Projects head of operations Eva Suarez and other members of the team, Kate led the two-year renovation of Sullivan’s Fish Camp, where she set out to create a 1970s-inspired beachside aesthetic. Her goal was to give the space a fresh look with elements honoring Sullivan’s Seafood, like a framed flag and original menu.

A place that feels new and nostalgic all at once.

“That’s been the biggest compliment that we have received is (people saying) ‘Oh it feels like it’s been here forever,’ ” Kate Towill said.

Leading the kitchen as executive chef is Davis Hood, who grew up on Isle of Palms with his brother Nathan, culinary director of Basic Projects. Hood, who recalls walking by the Middle Street building on his way to Sullivan’s Island Elementary School, is focusing on sustainability at the new Sullivan’s Island restaurant.

Local purveyors like Abundant Seafood, Tarvin Seafood, Lowcountry Oyster Co., Vertical Roots and Peculiar Pig Farm dot the Sullivan’s Fish Camp menu.

“It’s not your average fish camp in my eyes,” Hood said. “The whole concept of snout to tail cooking, we’re trying to bring that vibe but with fish. Understanding that the ocean is such an important part of our lives and not trying to have any waste.”

If there is one dish that epitomizes this approach, it’s the Sullivan’s Island Gumbo that features Tarvin Seafood shrimp, clams, okra, lobster broth, dayboat fish and Anson Mills Charleston Gold Rice. The West African style gumbo’s gluten-free base is made using chicken bones, lobster shells, shrimp shells, fennel, celery, palm oil and Bradford Family Farm okra, which replaces a roux as the stew’s thickening agent.

Ben Towill said the gumbo, along with the pan-roasted fish of the day and tempura nori tuna with furikake aioli have been some of the restaurant’s top sellers in its first weeks of service.

“We feel like the menu’s been received really well,” Ben Towill said. “Guests and everyone have felt really comfortable which has been a big bonus.”

Fresh seafood isn’t the only element that gives Sullivan’s Fish Camp that desired beachside feel. Self-described “fruity” cocktails like the tequila-based Sumter’s Watch, rum-based Sullivan Swizzle and the frozen paloma will immediately put patrons on island time.

Sullivan’s Fish Camp is open for dinner from 5-10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and lunch is currently served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. The restaurant plans to eventually serve lunch and dinner daily.

For more information, visit sullivansfishcamp.com or call 843-883-2100.

Three Summer Cocktails to Sip

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina is a Baja-inspired beach bar with locations in Sullivan's Island, West Ashley and Mount Pleasant and prides itself on providing an endless summer to customers year-round with craveable tacos and memorable margaritas.The restaurant’s main inspiration came from their surf trips down the Baja Peninsula, cruising down the Mex 1 highway, stopping along the way for light, fresh flavors at local cantinas....

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina is a Baja-inspired beach bar with locations in Sullivan's Island, West Ashley and Mount Pleasant and prides itself on providing an endless summer to customers year-round with craveable tacos and memorable margaritas.

The restaurant’s main inspiration came from their surf trips down the Baja Peninsula, cruising down the Mex 1 highway, stopping along the way for light, fresh flavors at local cantinas.

As one of the top Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in the area, the food at Mex 1 is inspired by the flavors of Southern California and the Baja Peninsula. Their fan-favorite Baja fish tacos, Mahi-Mahi rice bowls, guacamole, and smoked pulled pork nachos are among their most mouth-watering dishes, bringing Charleston locals and summer tourists back for more (and more).

In addition to Mex 1’s locally sourced, high-quality food; their delicious summertime cocktails provide the perfect escape from the daily grind of life.

Mex 1’s cocktails are made with only 100% agave tequila, setting them apart from the other margaritas in town. This purest form of tequila means no hangovers, no additives, and a much more enjoyable cocktail experience.

Whether you’re sipping at the shoreline or enjoying beverages at home with friends, Morgan Hurley, Marketing and Beverage Director at Mex 1 Coastal Cantina, provides his list of the top 3 summer cocktails that everyone should try over the next few months.

Top 3 summertime cocktails:

1. Ranch Water Cocktail

This effervescent cocktail is typically made with Topo Chico sparkling mineral water, tequila, and lime. This beverage can be easily crafted at home and brought to enjoy on boat excursions or pool days. You can even enjoy it in the Topo Chico bottle if you gently pop the top off and just add tequila and lime juice.

Mex 1’s version of the ranch water comes with its own twist as a Pineapple Ranch Water made with pineapple infused tequila, Topo Chico sparkling mineral water, a slice of lime and a lime sugar/salt rim; served right in the Topo Chico bottle. Try it with Mex 1’s Bangin’ Shrimp Tacos for a full summertime Baja experience.

Hurley says, “Serving the cocktail in the Topo Chico bottles adds a bit more mineral water. This makes for a much lighter drink so you can enjoy a few on a hot summer day.”

2. Watermelon Margarita

Watermelon margaritas are an in-season summertime staple with watermelon, tequila, lime, and agave. These cocktails are perfect for batching ahead of time for parties. Hurley says, “Batching watermelon margaritas takes the work out of summertime. Just set it and forget it before enjoying a pitcher of margs by the pool.”

Mex 1’s variation of a watermelon margarita is their award-winning Baja Tanga. Their blend of tequila, lime, agave, watermelon and rosé wine creates the light, refreshing beverage that won first place at the Charleston Margarita Festival. Sip on this drink while enjoying smoked pulled pork nachos for a perfect combination of sweet and savory.

Want to enjoy a few watermelon margs at home without mixing them up yourself? This margarita is also sold seasonally as a mix, so customers can pick up a bottle from Mex 1, bring it home, and just add tequila.

3. Classic Margarita

You can’t go wrong with tequila, lime and agave. However, if you choose to make your own margaritas at home; Hurley reminds folks to only purchase 100% agave tequila and stick with seasonal tequila preferences.

He says, “If you’re at the store and the bottle doesn’t say 100% agave tequila, put it back on the shelf. Blanco and Reposado tequilas are perfect for summertime, while Anejo tequilas are better enjoyed in the fall and winter.”

All Mex 1’s margaritas are crafted with 100% Agave Tequila and their signature Mex 1 Mix, a blend of fresh lime, lemon, orange juice and a touch of simple syrup. The crowd favorite infused margaritas feature their infused Tequilas made in house with fresh fruit like pineapple, pineapple habanero, strawberry cucumber and jalapeno. The infused Tequilas provide a potent flavor that’s consistent across all margaritas, creating a premium sipping experience.

For a surf-inspired, laid-back beach bar atmosphere, craveable tacos, and memorable margaritas; Mex 1 is your vacation destination for an endless summer.

Sullivan’s Island restaurant’s retention rate stands out amid staffing crisis

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Obstinate Daughter bar manager Frank Arevalo has always been a fan of celebrating career milestones.Since joining the island standby eight years ago, he has helped make this ethos a part of everyday life for the restaurant’s employees.When a member of Obstinate Daughter’s team celebrates a one-, two- or six-year anniversary, Arevalo honors their achievement on social media.There have b...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND — Obstinate Daughter bar manager Frank Arevalo has always been a fan of celebrating career milestones.

Since joining the island standby eight years ago, he has helped make this ethos a part of everyday life for the restaurant’s employees.

When a member of Obstinate Daughter’s team celebrates a one-, two- or six-year anniversary, Arevalo honors their achievement on social media.

There have been a lot of posts in the last year.

Dylan Elliott (two years), Samuel Elvington (three years), Shaun Jefferson (two years), Zoe Alessandra De Luca-Parker (two years), Andrea Deslauriers (three years) and Whitney Reed Mallett (five years) have all celebrated work anniversaries in the past seven months. Many more have already surpassed one year at Obstinate Daughter.

Arevalo started the tradition years ago when a server named Tifyane Tipton was nearing her five-year anniversary. The 29-year food and beverage industry veteran posted about Tipton’s milestone on social media. The rest is history.

“Before we started posting them on Instagram, we would have a calendar with milestones and birthdays posted up in the restaurant as a reminder of those special occasions,” Arevalo said. “Our No. 1 asset is our people. Celebrating milestones creates a culture of being valued.”

This culture starts at the top with owner Doug Godley, who provides employees with paid vacation and match a portion of their 401(k), among other benefits. Both Godley and Obstinate Daughter executive chef Jacques Larson say they hope to create the best possible work environment for all employees.

“Chefs and anyone in the industry, it’s expected that you work at least six days for at least 12 hours long. No other industry demands that you put in those kinds of hours,” Larson said. “People that do that don’t have employees holding signs.”

In May, bartender Lauren Drees will hold up a sign that reads “five years,” an anniversary she credits to the restaurant’s customers, commitment to the environment and her coworkers. The Pittsburgh native said she plans to stay put at Obstinate Daughter for a long time.

“There’s a really good rapport between front of the house and back of the house,” Drees said. “It just makes everything smoother when you feel like you can ask questions.”

Obstinate Daughter chef de cuisine Will D’Erasmo bought into the company culture after first meeting Godley and Larson at Wild Olive, their Johns Island restaurant that opened in 2009. There, D’Erasmo worked as a line cook for two years before joining Obstinate Daughter when it opened in 2014.

“At this point it’s kind of like my home because I’ve put so much time and energy into it. Doug is an extremely generous boss. He provides us with new equipment if we ask for it and things like that,” D’Erasmo said. “I enjoy the food and I like working with Jacques.”

Employment in South Carolina’s leisure and hospitality sector grew 2.2 percent from March to April, but Charleston area restaurateurs are still struggling with a staffing crisis that existed even before the COVID-19 pandemic. While Obstinate Daughter has a stable staff, there are days when the kitchen crew is short a member or two.

During those shifts, everyone chips in.

“The sheer volume that we’re doing, we’re blowing through food products,” D’Erasmo said. “It gets stressful and how to alleviate some of that stress is something we’re always thinking about.”

D’Erasmo motivates the back of the house by allowing chefs to move around the kitchen. “Tough love” was the norm early on in his career, but nowadays, he prefers a different mantra: A compliment can go a long way.

The opportunity to learn and earn more responsibilities in the kitchen has benefited executive sous chef Carlos Paredes, who joined Obstinate Daughter six years ago. On most nights, Paredes is in charge of coming up with the restaurant’s daily specials.

“The restaurant works completely different. If you’re working the line, you have to have a different set of skills,” Paredes said. “Nobody’s bored doing one station every time.”

Obstinate Daughter is a high-volume operation, so chefs who tire of the nighttime hours can join the morning prep team. The restaurant has been the ultimate training ground for Paredes, who is nearing the end of his tenure at Obstinate Daughter as he plans for the opening of his own restaurant in his home country of Peru.

Opening a restaurant has always been Paredes’ dream, but he was tempted by the thought of staying at Obstinate Daughter for as long as D’Erasmo and Larson would have him. As it stands, the chef will stay until the new restaurant is closer to its opening date.

“I think it’s definitely going to crush me,” Paredes said of leaving Obstinate Daughter. “I fell in love with the place. It actually make me find what I really want to be doing.”

Obstinate Daughter, located at 2063 Middle St., is open daily for lunch and dinner. For more information, visit theobstinatedaughter.com.

New legislation could increase enforcement of state ethics fines

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - This month, the state ethics commission updated its list of debtors which includes elected officials and candidates on the hook for late or missing filings, misuse of campaign funds and more.It’s about 25 pages long, listing people who owe $100 to hundreds of thousands, totaling $2.6 million.That’s about the same as when ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - This month, the state ethics commission updated its list of debtors which includes elected officials and candidates on the hook for late or missing filings, misuse of campaign funds and more.

It’s about 25 pages long, listing people who owe $100 to hundreds of thousands, totaling $2.6 million.

That’s about the same as when Live 5 Investigates reported on the debtors three years ago.

Ethics Commission Debtor’s list continues to grow

The latest to be added from the Lowcountry area are Angela McClary-Rush, a board member for Williamsburg Council Schools, Chris Lovelace, a former Colleton County Sheriff candidate and Timothy Reese, a council member on Sullivan’s Island.

Many remain on that list months and years after being added because getting them to pay up, doesn’t always pay off for the South Carolina Ethics Commission.

That’s because the state agency lacks the enforcement it needs, according to Sen. Greg Hembree (R-District 28).

“When you don’t have that ability to enforce the law. Then you really undermine the entire integrity of the system,” he said.

The Commission is charged with keeping politicians honest by enforcing state elections laws.

“We were way ahead of the country back in when we first passed them. We were like the lead, they had the best ethics laws in the country for a long time, but other states have caught us and now have passed us,” Hembree said. “For someone who just wants to thumb their nose at the law they can.”

Live 5 spoke with former Charleston County District 20 Constituent School Board chairman Tony Lewis in 2018 to ask about $61,210 owed to the ethics commission. Then he said he didn’t have a problem with being held accountable.

He’s currently listed as owing $60,955, making about a $300 difference.

When Live 5 Investigates followed up, he did say he had been making some payments until the pandemic hit.

But had a different tone, calling the fines “hellacious price tag” in response to a question if he would resume payments.

Lewis no longer holds his position on the board.

Candidates in smaller races report less help and resources, but higher fines

Henry Copeland ran for Charleston County School board in 2012 and ended up owing the ethics commission $7,500 dollars. What began as an initial late fee of $100, ended up snowballing with daily late fees.

He’s now on a payment plan from the Department of Revenue.

“It was a shock in the sense that was far more than I ever spent on the election,” he said. “I think it was a very stiff fine considering the fact we were talking about a missing a filing deadline and we may be talking about reporting maybe $2,000 worth of campaign contributions, but the law is the law. But there ought to be some opportunity in which to rectify a situation that had apparently gone to the other extreme.”

Running a smaller campaign, Copeland recalls little to no support available to him from the state.

We were also able to get in contact with Chris Lovelace who according to the ethics commission owes $31,100 in fines for his 2016 run for Colleton County Sheriff.

Lovelace was just added to the list this past month.

The ethics commission reports he missed several filing deadlines and used campaign funds for personal reasons including gas station, restaurant, and clothing store charges.

Lovelace denies wrongdoing and argues health issues put him at a disadvantage.

“All the campaign funds are accounted for. It’s just that, they weren’t reported on time, at the time frame they wanted. And again, I take responsibility for that. It’s nobody else’s responsibility but mine. But I think the $30,000 is excessive,” he said. “As far as the Ethics Commission, dealing with them, it’s left a sour taste in my mouth.”

Lovelace says he ran because he saw corruption within the department and wanted to do something positive for his community.

He’s currently appealing his case.

Lewis also complained that he wasn’t aware of procedure, and it wasn’t fair to charge him for something he didn’t know about.

“The paperwork is so discouraging from that standpoint that I can easily see where an average person would hesitate to get involved. It places doubt on my desire to run for political office again, " Copeland said.

Banned from holding office

Legislation is in the works that would prevent Copeland and all the others named on the list from running from office again, at least as long as they owe money.

Sen. Hembree of the Peedee area introduced Senate Bill 991 that would prevent candidates with outstanding debts from doing so.

“There was one that we had in Horry County some years ago with a high profile elected official who happened to be a friend of mine, you know, but this person just for whatever reason we’re just steadfastly refused to pay those funds and they got into the tens of thousands of dollars,” Hembree said. “This person continued to serve continue to run for election and continue to get reelected so and still no payment of fine. So I was that was how I became aware of the problem.”

The bill did make it to a subcommittee but ultimately did not pass this legislative session.

Hembree says the bill wasn’t fully ready but he’s hopeful they’ll hit the ground running next year.

“I think that if you want a system, that’s truly accountable. They’re going to have to be more people at the Ethics Commission,” Copeland said. “But they’re going to have to have more of an eye on how to catch the items that can be corrected and how to catch the items that are an abuse of the system, and how to tell the difference between the two.”

The Ethics Commission receives funds from the legislature, but the $2.6 million owed is intended to help keep the department operating.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Town leaders, advocates say cutting of Sullivan’s Island Maritime Forest likely illegal

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Sullivan’s Island leaders say they’re hiring an attorney to look at ways to overturn a plan that could lead to large portions of the island’s maritime forest being cut down. The vote to hire Attorney William Wilkin came just days after a portion of the forest was potentially illegally cut near Station 26 on the island.Drone footage provided by SI4ALL shows a section roughly the width of a house was cleared. The clearing is raising concerns for residents while town official...

SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Sullivan’s Island leaders say they’re hiring an attorney to look at ways to overturn a plan that could lead to large portions of the island’s maritime forest being cut down. The vote to hire Attorney William Wilkin came just days after a portion of the forest was potentially illegally cut near Station 26 on the island.

Drone footage provided by SI4ALL shows a section roughly the width of a house was cleared. The clearing is raising concerns for residents while town officials say they are investigating to determine if the cutting was illegal.

“We were heartbroken and devastated to see the extent of the cutting,” says Karen Byko, President of SI4ALL.

The clearing has town leaders and residents including Byko scrambling to stop the chop of the island’s accreted forest the say provides protection from storms and flooding while offering a home for native wildlife.

“Concern is that we are devastating the very thing that is protecting us and it provides a home to our wildlife partners,” says Byko.

A majority of the cutting happened behind a house near Station 26 on Atlantic Avenue. Zillow records show the house was listed for sale on February 10th, around the time the cutting was believed to have happened, for $2.9 million. The house was then taken off the market five days later on February 15th after concerns over the cutting were raised at a town council meeting.

News 2 went to the home in front of the cutting to ask the owners if they knew anything about the cutting, a housekeeper was the only person home at the time and declined to answer questions.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says they haven’t received any tree cutting permits from either the Town of Sullivan’s Island or private residents. The agency says they recommended more discussion at the local level late last year before permitting any clearing of vegetation.

Town councilmembers Gary Visser and Scott Millimet called the cutting illegal and disheartening to see.

“The disregard for our community that they are a part of,” says Visser. Millimet called the act “extremely selfish.”

Sullivan’s Island Mayor Pat O’neil says the town is conducting a serious and thorough investigation into the cutting to identify those responsible and hold them accountable. Town officials are hopeful stricter penalties for cutting trees will be adopted by Town Council moving forward.

“If somebody says you’re going to have to wear an orange jumpsuit for 30 days, that might be a bigger deterrent,” says Millimet.

“We hope that they will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” says Byko.

The Army Corps of Engineers says they have not been contacted to investigate the cutting. Town officials say they will continue to investigate the incident.

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