- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The chairman of the board that helps run South Carolina’s military college is stepping down after 13 years after a lawmaker threatened to introduce a bill that would have kicked him out of office.

State Sen. Stephen Goldfinch was angry at Fred Price Jr. for supporting a new policy at The Citadel that would change the companies the college’s cadets are in between their freshman and sophomore years, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

Students have traditionally stayed in the same company through all four years at the military college.

Price announced Wednesday as a meeting of a legislative screening committee opened that he would resign as chairman immediately and leave The Citadel Board of Visitors on Dec. 31. The committee had already approved Price in February and it wasn’t clear why it was meeting again.

Price gave no reason for the resignation during the meeting or afterward. Price has been on the board since 2007 and chairman since 2017.

Goldfinch isn’t a member of the screening committee, but did attend the meeting. The Murrells Inlet Republican and Citadel graduate wrote a resignation note for Price to sign, telling him that if he didn’t, Goldfinch would push a bill to force him out.

Goldfinch refused to talk about Price after Wednesday’s meeting. He told the newspaper earlier this week his proposal to kick Price off the board had the support of nearly all Senate Republicans and called Price a “bad apple” who lied and misled Citadel alumni.

“My hope was to save The Citadel from some embarrassment as well as Fred Price and his family by having him resign,” Goldfinch said.

Price also has been criticized for voting in 2015 to keep a Confederate flag hanging in The Citadel’s Summerall Chapel, a vote Price said he made because he thought removing the flag would break a state law called the Heritage Act that protects Confederate and other historic statues, flags and symbols from being removed by anyone other than the state General Assembly.

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