Former SLED director reflects on his historic positions

WACH Fox celebrates Black History with a look at achievements and accomplishments of African Americans across the Palmetto State and the Midlands. Good Day's Fraendy Clervaud introduces you to a man who broke barriers becoming South Carolina's top cop and attorney.

CAMDEN, SC (WACH) -- Reggie Lloyd has been practicing law for more than 15 years. The Kershaw County native runs his own law firm in Camden. Law and public service is what he lives for, but that wasn't always the case.

â??I actually had much more of an interest in broadcast journalism and sports journalism and originally started out with that as a major,â?? said Lloyd, Former SLED Director.

After a short time at the University of Miami, Lloyd found himself back in South Carolina. Thatâ??s when he started thinking about becoming a lawyer. He enrolled at Winthrop University and later received a Juris Doctor from USC's School of Law. Years later Lloyd became involved in politics.

â??Eventually went to work for the South Carolina Attorney Generals Office where we were obviously involved in a number of litigation matters on behalf of the state. Dealing with everything from video poker, to reapportionment and redistricting,â?? said Lloyd.

Lloydâ??s work eventually grabbed the attention of democrats and republicans in Washington. In 2006 he was named the U.S Attorney for South Carolina becoming the first African American to hold that seat.

â??During my tenure as U.S Attorney, we had gone through in the years preceding that a number of high profile gang related acts of violence unfortunately. We made combating violent crimes a very high priority,â?? said Lloyd.

But that wasn't all, in 2008 former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford offered Lloyd the position as SLED Director. He accepted that post and became the first African American to hold that office.

Lloyd remembers two cases that stand out.

â??We did a number of wire tap cases, a number of cases that targeted those Mexican cartels who were operating and setting up operations in South Carolina. The case that was made against former Sheriff E.J. Melvin. The reason why it stands out for me is because of what we've said all along. You see the corruption thatâ??s attached to drug dollars,â?? said Lloyd.

Lloyd says it wasn't always easy but he pushed forward.

â??We sit here today even in 2013, an African American president, a newly appointed African American as U.S Senator for South Carolina but those issues still come up. They are still being raised by those who are both proud of those accomplishments but those who are opposed to those type of accomplishments simply because of somebodyâ??s race,â?? said Lloyd.

Lloyd says he hopes his two historic appointments will be an example to all that nothing can hold you back not even race.