Tag Archives: Judicial Merit Selection Commission

Lawyer-lawmakers largely control who becomes a judge in SC. Here’s their latest power play

February 21, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Ten S.C. House members who are lawyers are pushing legislation to create two circuit and two family court seats – and several of the bill’s co-sponsors would play large roles in who gets nominated to those positions. The lead sponsor of the bill is House speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, an attorney who […]

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

December 11, 2019

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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, […]

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

November 15, 2019

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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 […]

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S.C.’s massive debt load partly based on misleading state finance report

March 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When it comes to debt, the state of South Carolina is swimming in billions of it. Yet an important report on the state’s finances, issued by Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom – the state’s chief accountant – and considered a key document by credit rating agencies in evaluating state debt, according to an […]

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Special corruption prosecutor won’t seek release of Harrell file

December 18, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The special prosecutor assigned to investigate legislative corruption won’t seek the public release of the long-closed file on the former S.C. House speaker whose case launched the State House probe, according to an attorney representing news media in South Carolina. The State Law Enforcement Division, which assisted special prosecutor David Pascoe, denied […]

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SLED won’t release investigative file on former S.C. House speaker

October 31, 2018

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT In requesting this month’s public release of a state grand jury report into legislative corruption, special prosecutor David Pascoe wrote that he “firmly believes that the greatest weapon against corruption and incompetence in government is transparency.” Yet the State Law Enforcement Division, which assisted Pascoe, declined multiple open-records requests this year […]

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Court budget plan, Senate bill call for big judicial pay hikes

February 1, 2018

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Gavel on Money

By RICK BRUNDRETT South Carolina’s higher-level judges would receive pay hikes ranging from 20 to 33 percent under a state Judicial Department budget proposal and separate Senate bill. A revised 2018-19 budget plan submitted on Jan. 18 by the Judicial Department, which initially requested 10 percent across-the-board raises, would increase salaries for judges and justices […]

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