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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — What’s a crony? The definition of that word is playing a role in lawsuit filed against the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports lawyers for Karon Mitchell have responded to the chamber’s request to strike the words “crony” and “crony companies” from a lawsuit filed in early April.

The lawsuit accuses the chamber of paying more than $30 million in tax money to “crony companies” started by former or current employees over the last three years without competitive bidding.

The lawsuit says the money came from the tourism development fee and accommodations tax.

Chamber lawyers said the use of the word “crony” is “impertinent, improper and scandalous.”

Mitchell’s lawyers responded, saying the dictionary definition is “a close friend, especially of long standing.”

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Information from: The Sun News, http://www.thesunnews.com/