Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner makes a point as he questions Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge on Tuesday. The council split a decision to fire Eldridge, but pay him for six more months in addition to health benefits. A tie vote counts as a defeat so Eldridge is still the administrator. His contract expires in April with an automatic one-year renewal. Al Allen, county commissioner, said Eldridge makes more than $211,000 annually with a $10,000 a year car allowance. Photo by Janet Morgan/janet.morgan@myhorrynews.com

A broadcasting company is suing Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner after he failed to pay thousands for advertising, according to court records.

Sinclair Communications, LLC, the parent company of WPDE-TV, filed the suit Dec. 31 in the Horry County Court of Common Pleas. The chairman and Johnny Gardner Law Group, P.A., are named as defendants.

In April 2014, the law firm applied to receive advertising services.

Gardner signed a credit application, according to court records, executing a personal guarantee.

"The failure of the defendant Johnny Gardner to make payment under the personal guaranty constitutes a breach of contract," the complaint said.

The filing said that from Feb. 1-Oct. 31 of 2018, the company rendered advertising services to the firm valued at $5,000, which the defendant has not paid.

“Despite demands sent by Sinclair Communications, LLC and its attorneys, Johnny Gardner Law Group, P.A. has failed and refused to pay the balance due for advertising services sold and delivered,” an affidavit stated.

In addition to the $5,000 it said is owed, the company is seeking interest, legal costs and attorney fees.

A general manager for WPDE-TV said he was unaware of the suit and could not comment.

A spokesperson for Sinclair Broadcast Group could not immediately be reached. 

Gardner said Tuesday that he hadn’t been served the lawsuit yet, but was notified of the suit through a phone call.

He noted that his firm has been restructured and is now Gardner-Bouchette Law.

Gardner said he believes the debt has already been taken care of. If the debt is owed, he said, the bills will be paid.


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