Cross Island Parkway interchange could be renamed for Rep. Patrick

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comMay 15, 2014 

A resolution adopted by the state House of Representatives would name the Cross Island Parkway exits on Spanish Wells Road the "Representative Andy Patrick Interchange" after the departing Hilton Head Island House member.

The resolution honoring Patrick was introduced on May 7 by Rep. Bill Herbkersman, R-Bluffton; Rep. Weston Newton, R-Bluffton; and Rep. Ken Hodges, D-Green Pond. It was adopted by the House on Tuesday.

Herbkersman said the group backed the measure because "Andy has been a fantastic public servant. He dedicated his time to Hilton Head Island and the state of South Carolina. He was a true asset."

Patrick announced in January that he was dropping out of the state superintendent of education race and would not seek re-election to his District 123 House seat. His announcement came two days after publication of a story about his financial problems. Since then, he has been ordered to appear in court to answer allegations that he hasn't paid all of the $4,000 a judge ordered him to pay to his estranged wife's attorney. The couple is divorcing.

Herbkersman said the resolution does not deal with Patrick's personal issues, only his time in the legislature.

"We don't get into his personal life," Herbkersman said.

Herbkersman and Newton said they have heard only positive comments from Patrick's constituents.

"He's been a stellar member of our delegation," Herbkersman said. "I've not heard one negative thing about him. His name has been dragged through the mud, tabloid-style, on this."

Patrick said Thursday he did not know about the resolution until this week. He said he was trying to move on, calling it "ridiculous" that questions would be raised about the honor.

"The whole thing has been painful for me," he said. "It's nice for the representatives to recognize my service, but it keeps being brought back to (my personal life)."

The resolution goes next to the Senate, which typically approves road-naming resolutions only for officials who have died, according to Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort.

If the Senate does not pass the resolution, Herbkersman said the group would try again next year.

If it is passed, the S.C. Department of Transportation would make two signs for the intersection, DOT spokesman Pete Poore said. The people who requested the signs would have to reimburse the DOT up to $500, Poore said. Herbkersman said he and the other representatives probably would pay that.

Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.

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