Tag Archives: Mike Pitts

Lawmakers making the green after getting green light from ethics panel

December 13, 2019

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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 […]

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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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Long legislative tradition of putting ex-colleagues, relatives in high-paying public jobs

October 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The possibility that two more ex-lawmakers could join the state Public Service Commission – with six-figure salaries – highlights a longstanding tradition of legislators giving well-paying jobs to their former colleagues, relatives and friends. On Friday, the six-legislator, 10-member State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC), which nominates PSC candidates for […]

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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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How one S.C. senator can control the appointment of county magistrates

July 2, 2019

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SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Senate’s quiet move at the end of last week’s special legislative session to confirm Mike Pitts as a Laurens County magistrate surprised even some senators when the former state House member’s name was quickly read across the desk. That’s likely because, in part, the appointment of the more than 300 […]

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Tax money meant for veterans’ care spent on university bus, new furniture

May 9, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the last four fiscal years, $1.4 million in tax dollars flowed through three state social services agencies to an equestrian center operated by Lander University, a small, public liberal arts school in Greenwood. But an investigation by The Nerve found that relatively little was spent to directly help S.C. citizens served […]

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Horsing around: How an ex-lawmaker and his sister involved themselves in a veterans’ therapy program

April 18, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Former S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts pushed for state funding to launch a veterans’ therapy program that his sister positioned herself to manage and was overseen by the state agency that employed her for years, an investigation by The Nerve found. Two years and $1 million later, the therapy program, called “Herd 2 […]

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Lawmakers usually find it easy getting other government gigs

March 6, 2019

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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 […]

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How S.C. lawmakers try to intimidate citizens and groups they don’t like

February 8, 2019

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state house

By RICK BRUNDRETT For years, S.C. lawmakers have repeatedly tried through legislation and other means to intimidate citizens who run for legislative seats, raise ethical questions about legislators’ official or campaign activities, or criticize their positions on issues. And lawmakers show no signs of letting up – at least not in this legislative session. The […]

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Private individuals’ financial records fair game under S.C. House bill

January 8, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Private citizens could be forced to testify before and turn over their financial records to S.C. House or Senate committees under a House bill filed for the new legislative session that starts today. Contacted Monday by The Nerve, former Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, who announced last month he was resigning from office […]

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