The Buzz

SC roads commissioner resigns so his firm can keep doing state business

Traffic on Interstate 26 near its junction with Interstate 20 near Columbia.
Traffic on Interstate 26 near its junction with Interstate 20 near Columbia. File Photo/The State

The former head of the commission that oversees South Carolina’s transportation department is stepping down early so his business can continue to do work for the state after a new state law takes effects.

Mike Wooten told the Georgetown Times that he planned to step down from the board before the new law takes effect July 1.

Wooten’s four-year term was set to expire in August. However, the president of DDC Engineers in Myrtle Beach said Thursday he wanted to leave early so his engineering firm can continue seeking state work.

“The new law basically states that commissioners cannot apply for permits from S.C. DOT,” Wooten said. “So, if I stayed on the commission, I would have to abandon my business, and I am certainly not willing to do that.”

Wooten represented the Myrtle Beach-area’s 7th District in Congress on the commission.

On Friday, Gov. Henry McMaster appointed Myrtle Beach businessman Tony Cox as an interim replacement on the commission for Wooten. Cox is vice president of the real estate development company Burroughs and Chapin.

“Tony is a highly respected leader in our state’s business community and his service to our state will be invaluable,” McMaster said in announcing Cox’s appointment. “He will ensure taxpayer dollars are properly used to pave and repair roads because that’s what South Carolinians deserve. He will be an advocate for reform and efficiency because that’s what the system needs.”