Originally created 02/03/03

Hodges joins law firm



GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Former Democratic Gov. Jim Hodges has joined the Charlotte-based law firm Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, and will head a business and government consulting subsidiary of that partnership.

Hodges Consulting Group will serve clients in South Carolina, North Carolina and the Southeast on government relations and business issues, he said.

"I'll be working with companies that are looking at locating in the North American market, including companies in different regions of the country that are looking at coming into the Carolinas," Hodges said.

Charles O. DuBose, co-managing partner of the law firm, said, "This is an exciting new initiative of Kennedy Covington that will provide to clients of the group comprehensive advice and solutions for their government relations and business needs."

Hodges' consulting group will include his former Chief of Staff Billy Boan; Mark Sweatman, who served Hodges as coordinator of legislation and as assistant director of economic development; and Merideth Strawhorn, who was project developer for the governor's Focus on Reading programs.

Hodges said he and his colleagues will be based in Columbia, but spend considerable time in Rock Hill, Charlotte and Raleigh.

Hodges took office in January 1999, after defeating Republican former Gov. David Beasley. He was unseated last November by Republican Mark Sanford, who took office on Jan. 15.

Prior to his election as governor of South Carolina, Hodges served as General Counsel and Secretary of The Springs Co., one of South Carolina's largest private companies.

Hodges served in the South Carolina House of Representatives, where he was elected chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Business School as well as the School of Law.