Tag Archives: ethics

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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  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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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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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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State court system won’t reveal key details on judicial discipline

February 5, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT For the second time in recent months, the S.C. Judicial Department has sided with secrecy about how the court system operates. In October, the department denied The Nerve’s request under the state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for a list of judicial staff making at least $50,000 annually – records which are […]

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Top lawmakers’ campaign spending didn’t stop with re-election

January 29, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the last three months of 2020, the November general election wasn’t the only expense that top S.C. lawmakers covered with campaign funds. The Nerve’s review of the latest campaign-spending reports filed this month by Senate and House leaders found that a number of them spent some of their campaign funds on […]

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Lawmakers continue looking after their own business interests

January 13, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As lawmakers return to Columbia this week to consider big issues such as the ongoing response to the coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina and the possible sale of state-owned utility Santee Cooper, some legislators are introducing bills that ultimately could fatten their own wallets. And state law allows it. Take Sen. Brad […]

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Attorney who works in SC senator’s law firm one step closer to judgeship

December 16, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT With 2021 nearly here, S.C. lawmakers likely won’t be making any New Year’s resolutions to loosen their tight grip on the state court system. Legislative leaders have shown little interest in giving up power over the judicial selection process – which often favors friends and business associates of lawmakers. Sen. Scott Talley, […]

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