New SC hospitality leader is fixing problems

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The new leader of what used to be the South Carolina Hospitality Association said the group's membership has stabilized as it works to pay back nearly $500,000 stolen from its hotels and restaurants.

South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association CEO John Durst told The Post and Courier of Charleston that the group hopes to pay back the stolen money by August.

The group changed its name last year after the organization's longtime leader committed suicide and 1 of its employees pleaded guilty to embezzlement.

Durst says he is traveling the state to meet with the association's 1,400 members to emphasize that the group can still help them out. The organization is providing seminars to deal with new health care laws and other benefits.