Tag Archives: ethics

New Senate president’s business paid thousands by local governments

January 7, 2022

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SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT New S.C. Senate president Thomas Alexander reported a total of more than $850,000 in income over a 10-year period from Upstate public agencies through his office supply business, The Nerve found in a review of his annual income-disclosure records. No one has accused the longtime Oconee County Republican of any wrongdoing. But, […]

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Senator-lawyers support bill that could fatten their wallets

December 14, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Four senator-lawyers who, or their law firms, received workers’ compensation fees last year are co-sponsoring a bill that would allow employees to file workers’ compensation claims involving COVID-19 vaccines. Three of the lawmakers sit on a Senate committee that will consider the bill and also screens candidates for the seven-member Workers’ Compensation […]

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Secrecy still part of judicial screening process

December 8, 2021

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee that screens judges ruled last week that a longtime circuit court judge was no longer qualified to serve, though the general public wasn’t informed afterward about its decision. When it comes to secrecy surrounding how judges are nominated in South Carolina, it’s business as usual for the six-legislator, […]

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Top court rarely disciplines judges despite numerous complaints

October 22, 2021

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT Last week, the S.C. Supreme Court suspended Oconee County probate judge Kenneth Johns for 18 months after he formally admitted – for the second time in five years – violating ethics rules for judges. It’s not often that the state’s top court, headed by Chief Justice Donald Beatty, publicly disciplines a judge, […]

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Legislative infighting: Inside a dysfunctional delegation

September 16, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In South Carolina, county legislative delegations – made up of state House and Senate members representing a county – have considerable power on their home turfs. As The Nerve has pointed out, delegations make appointments to various local boards and committees, including school boards in some counties and most county transportation committees, […]

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U.S. Rep. Mace among those owing S.C. House ethics fines

June 4, 2021

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House members only sign

  By RICK BRUNDRETT Ex-S.C. House member Nancy Mace, who was elected last year to Congress, owes a $5,100 civil fine imposed by the state House Ethics Committee for a campaign reporting violation related to her former position, according to an updated fines list released this week after The Nerve’s inquiry. The list, updated Tuesday […]

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Two lawmakers rack up thousands in unpaid ethics fines

May 19, 2021

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BY RICK BRUNDRETT Since 2015, two sitting House members have owed thousands in civil fines after receiving public reprimands for campaign reporting violations, records reviewed by The Nerve show. Rep. Cezar McKnight, D-Williamsburg, who is an attorney, owes $59,150.88 to the Senate Ethics Committee, committee lawyer J.J. Gentry said in an initial written response in […]

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Attorney with ties to SC senator wins judgeship

May 7, 2021

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT An attorney who works in a state senator’s law firm is Spartanburg County’s new master-in-equity judge – less than three months after the county’s legislative delegation, of which the senator is a member, quietly nominated her. The Senate and House this week confirmed Shannon Phillips, an attorney in Sen. Scott Talley’s law […]

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McMaster receives gifts totaling tens of thousands of dollars

April 7, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the past four years as South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster received a total of more than $87,000 in gifts, The Nerve found in a review of his annual income-disclosure reports. Of the $87,695 in freebies, $24,679, or 28%, came from the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Governors Association (RGA), mainly for flights, hotel […]

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Secrecy still order of the day in S.C. court system

March 10, 2021

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT If an ethics complaint is filed against a South Carolina judge, in most cases the public will never learn the details. That’s because court rules adopted by the five-member S.C. Supreme Court – the state’s top court – largely ensure secrecy in the process. For example, under court rules, misconduct proceedings against […]

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