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Vince Graham replaced on SIB board

John B. White Jr.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster made a move Wednesday that at least a handful of politicians in the Lowcountry will approve. The governor replaced State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) board chairman Vince Graham.

The move comes after a request in February from Senator Sandy Senn in Charleston.

“This past year, Mr. Graham single-handedly delayed the work of the SIB by repeatedly refusing to call meetings or by canceling meetings when he knew that Charleston had the votes to move our projects forward,” Sen. Senn wrote to the governor. “He has succeeded in waiting until member of the board rotated off and new members have rotated on. In short, he has substituted his opinion for that of the board by not doing the job he was appointed to do and conduct meetings. For this alone, I believe that his serves on the board have been sub-par.”

In a statement released from governor's office Wednesday, it's stated the governor felt the bank would benefit from, an "Upstate representative."

“The term of office for the chair position is coterminous with the governor who makes the appointment," Governor McMaster's press secretary Brian Symmes said. "Governor McMaster appreciates Mr. Graham’s service. The governor felt the bank would benefit from an Upstate representative, and has the highest confidence in Mr. White’s ability to work with statewide leadership to secure our state’s economic prosperity.”

Graham is replaced by Upstate attorney John B. White Jr. A bio provided by the governor's office states he has 30 years of expertise in areas of complex business litigation in State and Federal Court, criminal and civil law, business litigation, personal injury law, products liability, domestic relations, and condemnation.

Sen. Senn said she was joined in her call to have Graham removed by Representatives Stafrinkis, McCoy and Bennett. She cited Graham's “close ties” to those who oppose the completion of I-526 and delays in discussing the project.

In September Charleston County threatened legal action over delays with the SIB over the I-526 completion project.

Charleston County Council Chairman Elliott Summey blamed Graham for cancelling meetings where leaders hoped to work on a compromise for funding. Rep. Chip Limehouse (R- Charleston), a member of the board, confirmed Summey’s account.

“The board is not united in its plan for 526. But enough board members want to see it happen, so we would work something out in a meeting,” Limehouse said.

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