Archive | Investigative Reports RSS feed for this section

Taxpayer, ratepayer tab totals $9M so far for review of secret Santee Cooper bids

January 17, 2020

0 Comments

Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT Eight private firms hired by the state to evaluate proposals for the sale or management of state-owned utility Santee Cooper have charged a total of more than $9.2 million – $5 million of it covered by taxpayers – for their work, newly released records show. And the overall bill to ratepayers with […]

Continue reading...

PSC seats in limbo again after legislatively controlled panel delays nominations

January 14, 2020

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Another year, another convoluted legislative process for selecting six-figure state Public Service Commission members, who can greatly affect utility bills for many South Carolinians. The State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC) was scheduled to screen a total of 17 candidates over two days last week for four open seats on […]

Continue reading...

Hundreds of unfinished paving projects in SC despite huge gas-tax-hike surplus

January 10, 2020

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Although nearly $1 billion has been collected since the state gas-tax-hike law went into effect more than two years ago, the S.C. Department of Transportation has completed less than 20% of identified paving projects statewide with those funds, newly released agency records show. The Nerve’s latest review found that of a total […]

Continue reading...

Ex-lawmaker withdraws as PSC candidate; legislators still control nominations, elections

January 7, 2020

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Former longtime state House member Chip Limehouse confirmed Monday he is no longer a candidate for a six-figure seat on the legislatively controlled S.C. Public Service Commission, though another ex-lawmaker is scheduled to be screened Wednesday for a separate PSC seat. Limehouse, a Charleston County Republican who was a House member from […]

Continue reading...

SCPRT secretive about renters at Governor’s Mansion complex

December 20, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Since Henry McMaster became governor in 2017, the state’s tourism agency has received more than $675,000 from renting the historic Lace House at the Governor’s Mansion complex in downtown Columbia, records show. But the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT)  ) – whose director, Duane Parrish, is a member of […]

Continue reading...

Six-figure House, Senate staff club growing bigger

December 17, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Since last year, the permanent workforce in the S.C. House and Senate has grown – as well as the number of legislative staffers in the six-figure salary club, records released to The Nerve show. The 124-member House employed 95 staffers as of Dec. 2, up from 91 as of mid-October 2018, while […]

Continue reading...

Lawmakers making the green after getting green light from ethics panel

December 13, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Almost three years ago, the state House Ethics Committee quietly gave written approval to an unnamed House member who is an insurance agent to sell insurance policies to local disability boards and county hospitals. The Jan. 25, 2017, “advisory opinion” also said the lawmaker didn’t have to abstain on voting on any […]

Continue reading...

Secret “letters of caution” routinely given to S.C. judges

December 11, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the last 17 fiscal years, state court officials tasked with policing judicial ethics issued more than 250 “letters of caution” – usually in secret – to judges statewide, the most common type of action taken on complaints that were not dismissed, a review by The Nerve found. Under state court rules, […]

Continue reading...

Trick plays? How job estimates have grown with the Panthers’ planned SC move

December 6, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT The Carolina Panthers’ planned move of its headquarters and training facilities to Rock Hill is part of a larger effort to create 7,000 jobs with an average annual salary of $60,000 – as claimed in a state application for a federal grant to build an interstate interchange that would benefit the NFL […]

Continue reading...

Relatively little gas-tax-hike money spent on major road-rebuilding projects

December 4, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Last week, the S.C. Department of Transportation announced that it had completed rebuilding a nine-mile stretch of Interstate 85 in Spartanburg County. Yet as of Oct. 31, DOT had completed just 17% of the total estimated cost of other identified “pavements” projects in the county with gas-tax-hike revenues, newly released agency records […]

Continue reading...