North Myrtle Beach state legislator charged with DUS

The (Myrtle Beach) Sun NewsSeptember 27, 2012 

Tracy Edge, 45, a Republican who has represented District 104 since 1996 and is seeking re-election in November, was held from 4:37 to 5:21 a.m. Thursday after an officer stopped him for driving under suspension, according to records. Edge was ticketed for DUS and given a warning for driving left of center.

State Rep. Tracy Edge was ticketed early Thursday and detained for nearly an hour at North Myrtle Beach public safety building after he was charged with driving under suspension, according to authorities.

Edge, 45, a Republican who has represented District 104 since 1996 and is seeking re-election in November, was held from 4:37 to 5:21 a.m. Thursday after an officer stopped him for driving under suspension, according to records. Edge was ticketed for DUS and given a warning for driving left of center.

A North Myrtle Beach police report showed that an officer was on patrol going south on Ocean Boulevard at 41st Avenue North at 3:51 a.m. Thursday when the officer saw a blue sport utility vehicle leave a northbound lane of Ocean Boulevard and veer into the southbound lane, "almost colliding with my patrol vehicle."

The officer stopped the 2008 Ford Expedition and identified Edge as the driver and discovered that his license was suspected for failure to pay a traffic ticket, according to the report. Edge told the officer that he had sent in the money through the mail on Monday, but did not have proof in his possession that he done so.

The vehicle was released to Edge’s brother when he was handcuffed and taken into custody, according to the report.

But Edge said the incident occurred because he had been convicted in absence of speeding earlier this year. He said he paid the fine for speeding violation and if he had the receipt showing such he would not have been ticketed Thursday.

A search of Horry County’s public index shows that Edge was charged with speeding on May 30 and found guilty in a bench trial on July 17 and fined. Edge also was charged with speeding on April 29 and found guilty following a bench trial on Aug. 14 and fined.

"It’s not nearly as bad as it’s played out to be," Edge said Thursday morning. "I had a court case came up on a speed violation on the last day of the session. I had asked for continuance and thought it had been granted and then found out last week that it had not been after getting a letter from DMV stating my license had been suspended."

Edge said on Monday he paid the fine for speeding and a reinstatement fee for his driver’s license, but when he was stopped early Thursday he did not have that paperwork with him.

“If I had that [receipt] there wouldn’t been a ticket at all,” Edge said. "If you have speeding case come up and you’re not there and they convict you in a trial you have 10 days to pay the fine or your license is suspended. I’ve already paid everything and the suspension probably would have been lifted today by the stuff getting in the mail to Columbia.”

"The police officer said if I would have had the receipt with me they wouldn’t have ticketed me but I didn’t have that,” Edge said.

Edge won the June Republican primary and is set to face Democratic challenger Charles Randall in November’s general election.

Edge is a managing partner of Edge Holdings and vice president of the Burroughs and Chapin Co., according to his website.

Edge and his family have been at the center of a lawsuit recently after former city police Sgt. Jeff Senter – whose confrontation with Edge’s wife was caught on a dashcam video and eventually led to his firing – filed a 60-page lawsuit July 10 against city officials and others that details their alleged romantic and sexual activities and accuses them of conspiring to have Senter fired from the public safety job he held for 12 years.

The lawsuit also details efforts by Senter and William Bailey – the city’s former public safety director – to have state Rep. Tracy Edge, R-North Myrtle Beach, fired from his job at Burroughs & Chapin Co. Inc. because Bailey thought Edge was leaking information to the media about the city’s failed response to an April 2009 wildfire that destroyed dozens of homes in the Barefoot Resort neighborhood.

Senter’s legal action contrasts a September 2009 letter he wrote to city officials in which he accepted full responsibility for his actions, said he “failed my city, command staff and officers” and called Mayor Marilyn Hatley “the prettiest mayor in the country.”

The lawsuit was filed more than a month after Senter’s lawyer, Bonnie Hunt, sent letters to City Manager Mike Mahaney, Tracy Edge and his wife, Melissa, and Marilyn Hatley and her husband, David, demanding that the city and both couples pay $100,000 apiece to Senter to keep him from going public with the allegations. Hunt, in the letter, gave the city, the Hatleys and the Edges a 30-day deadline to comply with Senter’s demands. Senter also wanted to return to his job with the city, according to the letter.

At the time, Tracy Edge said the lawsuit includes “complete falsehoods” and said Hunt’s letter amounts to “extortion.”

More details about Edge’s arrest will be posted as they are released.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723.

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