Tag Archives: Luke Rankin

State court system keeps staff salaries secret from the public

November 20, 2020

0 Comments

south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Judicial Department – the third branch of state government – is refusing to publicly reveal salaries of its own employees, contending it isn’t legally required to do so. The Nerve on Oct. 18 submitted a request to the department under the state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking for the […]

Continue reading...

S.C. lawmakers continue tight grip on PSC elections

September 23, 2020

6 Comments

Update: The Legislature on Sept. 23, 2020, elected four newcomers to the S.C. Public Service Commission: Carolyn “Carolee” Williams, District 1; Stephen “Mike” Caston, District 3; Headen Thomas, District 5; and Delton Powers, District 7. By RICK BRUNDRETT For many South Carolinians, the size of their utility bills ultimately rests with state lawmakers. Not only […]

Continue reading...

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

February 21, 2020

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

PURC legislative members took junkets to utility industry-sponsored events

February 19, 2020

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT From 2007 through 2016, five longtime legislative members of a panel that nominates candidates to the S.C. Public Service Commission each attended at least two out-of-state events sponsored by utility-industry trade groups, records show. The total taxpayer cost of the trips by the five lawmakers who sit on the six-legislator, 10-member State […]

Continue reading...

State law violated: PURC fails to submit annual reviews of PSC members

January 24, 2020

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee violated state law in recent years by not giving the General Assembly annual performance reviews of individual S.C. Public Service Commission members, who set utility rates for residents and businesses statewide, a review by The Nerve found. Timing could be everything. Before the V.C. Summer nuclear project collapsed […]

Continue reading...

Lawmakers making the green after getting green light from ethics panel

December 13, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Almost three years ago, the state House Ethics Committee quietly gave written approval to an unnamed House member who is an insurance agent to sell insurance policies to local disability boards and county hospitals. The Jan. 25, 2017, “advisory opinion” also said the lawmaker didn’t have to abstain on voting on any […]

Continue reading...

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

November 15, 2019

1 Comment

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

1 Comment

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...

Legislators continue to look out for their own bottom lines

March 27, 2019

0 Comments

SC budget process

By RICK BRUNDRETT Another year, another round of state lawmakers supporting legislation that could fatten their wallets. Just this month alone, at least two House bills and a Senate bill were introduced, while separate legislation passed the Senate, that pose potential conflicts of interest for lawmakers who authored or co-sponsored the proposals. State ethics law […]

Continue reading...

Lawmakers usually find it easy getting other government gigs

March 6, 2019

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Ex-S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts’ decision this week to drop his quest to become the next director of the state land preservation agency is a rarity compared to the steady stream of former lawmakers who glided into high-paying government jobs. The Laurens County Republican, who last year was the House Ethics Committee chairman […]

Continue reading...