Coffey reappointed municipal judge for Hilton Head Island

bheffernan@islandpacket.comFebruary 5, 2013 

Maureen Coffey

  • voted unanimously to demolish the former Welcome Center building at 100 William Hilton Parkway. Town staff had said the building, constructed in the 1970s, was not worth repairing and recommended razing it. There are no current plans to develop the town-owned land following the demolition.

  • The Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce closed the center in October after a survey found that more travelers are looking online for vacation information.

    • voted unanimously to partner with Beaufort County to purchase 1.52 acres near Fish Haul Creek Park. The town will pay BDC Capital Inc. $102,000 for the property. The land will be used as a buffer for Fish Haul Creek Park and as a possible location for Mitchelville preservation efforts, town officials said.

Maureen Coffey was reappointed as the municipal judge for the Town of Hilton Head Island on Tuesday.

Hilton Head Town Council made the unanimous decision to renew her contract for a three-year term with a salary of $89,610, a 3-percent pay raise. Coffey's two-year term was due to expire this month.

"I think council felt like she's been doing a good job and deserved to be reappointed," said Mayor Drew Laughlin.

Coffey won a $6-million dollar defamation suit in June 2012 against George Breed, Sea Pines' former security chief, and the development's property owners association. The lawsuit followed an investigation after a series of burglaries beginning in 2004 in which Coffey's brother was a suspect.

The lawsuit did not factor into council's decision Tuesday night, Laughlin said.

Coffey has recused herself from hearing Sea Pines cases since Feb. 1, 2009.

Bluffton municipal court judge Fletcher Johnson heard cases involving Sea Pines until his death in December. Beaufort County Magistrate Terry Finger, who also serves as Bluffton's town attorney, has heard most of those cases since then.

The remaining cases were covered by Magistrate Beth Prince.

Related content

  1. Judge denies Sea Pines' attempt to overturn $6M verdict; appeal filed, Dec. 7, 2012
  2. Hilton Head judge's defamation suit moves to trial, May 19, 2012
  3. Chamber closes Hilton Head Island welcome center, Oct. 6, 2012
  4. Chamber welcome center scaled back, delayed, Sept. 25, 2011

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