An outgoing state legislator is angling for support as he hopes to become the next leader of South Carolina’s land protection agency.
State Rep. Mike Pitts R-Laurens, announced last week that he will retire from his state House seat on Jan. 3. Pitts hopes to be tapped as the state Conservation Bank director. The bank’s board is expected to hire him, but the appointment would require state Senate approval.
The bank helps finance land conservation deals, but had been criticized after an audit found the majority of land it protected was closed to the public and often benefitted private groups. Pitts had been among its biggest critics but helped pass legislation reauthorizing the bank earlier this year which restructured the agency and its mission.
“My first goal would be to regain the trust of the General Assembly,” he said. “Because there were some things done that hurt the bank both in the Senate and the House.” [Read more…]