Georgetown and Horry counties now have a new solicitor.
On Monday, Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Jimmy Richardson, who was the deputy solicitor for the circuit, to fill the seat vacated by Greg Hembree.
After serving as solicitor for 14 years, Hembree successfully won a seat in the South Carolina Senate, which he will begin next month.
Richardson, who has worked in the solicitor’s office for two years, was sworn in during a ceremony in Horry County on Tuesday afternoon.
He will finish Hembree’s current term that will end in January 2015 but he plans to run for a full four-year term in 2014.
Richardson said he is lucky everything fell into place the way it did once Hembree decided to run for office, and he thanked the governor for her appointment.
He said Horry and Georgetown counties need to focus on making sure juvenile convictions do not ruin young people’s lives, violent criminals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and end the cycle of repeat offenders.
“A person that’s been arrested 10 or 11 times, if we can’t fix them then it’s time to just say you need to go away, you need to go to prison, so what we’ve done is focused on those people. We’ve asked the judge for maximum sentences, we’ve used the laws that are available to upgrade those crimes because of the priors,” said Richardson.
He said this is his dream job and this is the top for him.
He said he has no interest in going to Columbia since his family is here and looks to be Horry and Georgetown counties’ solicitor for as long as the people allow him.
Richardson said he doesn’t expect many differences to be noticed between his predecessor and him.
“The Supreme Court has actually held us out as one of the places that it’s working, there’s not a lot of reason to go and try to reinvent the wheel. I mean, I may tinker with some of the parts that are already there but uh, why fix it if it’s not broken,” he said.
By Scott Harper
WBTW-TV 13 contributed to this report.
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