Archive | Investigative Reports RSS feed for this section

SCDOT still sitting on huge gas-tax-hike surpluses; few major projects completed

November 20, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT For the fiscal year that starts next July 1, the state Department of Transportation wants renewed authority to spend surplus money – at least that’s what the agency requested as part of its proposed 2020-21 budget. As of June 30 of this year, the department had $1 billion in “other” fund reserves, […]

Continue reading...

Ties to lawmakers present in judicial screening hearings; records kept secret

November 15, 2019

0 Comments

south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT As a sitting S.C. Supreme Court justice, George James is first up Monday in a series of screening hearings by a legislatively controlled panel that will determine whether he and other lower-court judges will be nominated for election in the General Assembly. James, who is seeking his first full 10-year term on […]

Continue reading...

S.C. lawmakers spending campaign funds on favorite charities, other ‘gifts’

November 13, 2019

0 Comments

state house

By RICK BRUNDRETT During this year’s legislative session, S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman spent a total of $14,769 for constituent “gifts” through ChemArt, a Rhode Island-based ornament company, plus another collective $1,364 for constituent meals at the upscale Palmetto Club near the State House – all paid for with campaign funds, records show. The Florence County […]

Continue reading...

S.C. lawmakers paying for trips to Egypt, other countries with campaign funds

November 8, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT As many as 17 S.C. lawmakers traveled to Egypt last month, most of whom paid their way with campaign funds, State Ethics Commission records show. Two legislators who used campaign money for the trip – Reps. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, and John King, D-York – also tapped their campaign accounts for costs related […]

Continue reading...

Millions from civil settlements paid to S.C. AG’s Office, outside law firms

November 6, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the past four fiscal years, the state Attorney General’s Office settled 33 civil cases against various companies for a total of nearly $210 million, though agency records show that the proceeds typically didn’t go directly to affected South Carolina consumers. Instead, most of the money was used by lawmakers to help […]

Continue reading...

Thousands of state employees in the $100K-plus club

October 25, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT In 2018, University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp received a new six-year deal that paid him $4.2 million in the first year and is worth a total of more than $28 million over the life of the contract. His total compensation includes $1.1 million in state salary – the […]

Continue reading...

The $4 billion piggy bank hidden from South Carolinians

October 23, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT As state agencies prepare their proposed fiscal 2020-21 budgets, what they likely won’t reveal is the amount of “other” fund surpluses carried over year after year – collectively billions of dollars. As of June 30 – the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year – state agencies and divisions, plus several major state […]

Continue reading...

SC handing out incentives to companies that lay off workers, close plants

October 18, 2019

0 Comments

Payoff

By RICK BRUNDRETT In announcing in April that DHL Supply Chain, a global logistics company, would locate a $100 million distribution and warehouse park in Dorchester County, Gov. Henry McMaster in a prepared statement said he couldn’t “wait to see what the future holds for this great company here.” In exchange for the planned investment, […]

Continue reading...

Long legislative tradition of putting ex-colleagues, relatives in high-paying public jobs

October 15, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT The possibility that two more ex-lawmakers could join the state Public Service Commission – with six-figure salaries – highlights a longstanding tradition of legislators giving well-paying jobs to their former colleagues, relatives and friends. On Friday, the six-legislator, 10-member State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC), which nominates PSC candidates for […]

Continue reading...

Millions in S.C. tax dollars shelled out for second ‘phantom’ interstate

October 9, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Interstate 73 isn’t the only nonexistent South Carolina highway that has been heavily subsidized with state tax dollars. From fiscal 2006 through fiscal 2013, S.C. lawmakers quietly appropriated a total of $4 million for the “routing, planning, and construction” of Interstate 74, which runs through parts of North Carolina. The annual $500,000 […]

Continue reading...