Tag Archives: Hugh Leatherman

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

January 10, 2020

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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 […]

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Six-figure House, Senate staff club growing bigger

December 17, 2019

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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 […]

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

December 4, 2019

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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 […]

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

November 13, 2019

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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 […]

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

November 6, 2019

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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 […]

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Road-naming legislation cuts into road repair funds

September 21, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When in session, S.C. lawmakers routinely introduce legislation dedicating an existing road section, bridge or intersection to a living or deceased person – including ex-legislators. Their road- and bridge-naming proposals are made through concurrent resolutions, which unlike general bills, can’t be reviewed by the governor. Since 2017, legislators have approved 57 such […]

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College president millionaire’s club growing in South Carolina

July 24, 2019

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University of South Carolina

By RICK BRUNDRETT As the new University of South Carolina president, Robert Caslen likely will be paid far more than the $650,000 salary that was reported after the school’s board of trustees in a split vote Friday hired him to run the state’s biggest university. Caslen, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general and former West […]

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Ex-DOT commissioner Hardee was dealmaker for program that collected state money, funded political campaigns

July 19, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Update: 8/8/2019 – The S.C. Attorney General’s Office in a letter to the State Law Enforcement Division asked SLED to “conclude the preliminary inquiry” of John Hardee so that the office could “review the allegations for any possible state violations,” noting that Hardee’s federal case was “resolved.” The letter did not provide […]

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Did lawmakers violate open-meetings law in DOT Commission appointment?

July 10, 2019

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SCDOT

By RICK BRUNDRETT An Upstate legislative delegation might have skirted the state’s open-meetings law last year by privately recommending to the governor candidates for a Department of Transportation Commission seat, The Nerve found in a review. In interviews this week, Greenville County GOP Reps. Mike Burns and Garry Smith said the Greenville and Spartanburg county […]

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Gas-tax-hike law could make it harder to hold state lawmakers accountable

June 21, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When it comes to fixing South Carolina’s deteriorating roads and bridges, where residents live could determine how hard their state lawmakers push to get unfinished work done. Since the gas-tax-hike law took effect nearly two years ago, raising the state gas tax 12 cents per gallon over six years and increasing other […]

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