Tag Archives: Thomas Alexander

New Senate president’s business paid thousands by local governments

January 7, 2022

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SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT New S.C. Senate president Thomas Alexander reported a total of more than $850,000 in income over a 10-year period from Upstate public agencies through his office supply business, The Nerve found in a review of his annual income-disclosure records. No one has accused the longtime Oconee County Republican of any wrongdoing. But, […]

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Secrecy still part of judicial screening process

December 8, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee that screens judges ruled last week that a longtime circuit court judge was no longer qualified to serve, though the general public wasn’t informed afterward about its decision. When it comes to secrecy surrounding how judges are nominated in South Carolina, it’s business as usual for the six-legislator, […]

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More secrecy on tap in upcoming PSC review?

October 20, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A powerful, legislatively controlled committee is scheduled Thursday to conduct annual reviews of the seven Public Service Commission members, though if recent history is a guide, the public won’t see any final written evaluations. That’s because they haven’t been done in the past several years, despite being required by state law. The […]

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Some state agency heads start new fiscal year with big pay raises

July 7, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee has given five-figure pay hikes to a group of state agency heads, and a new law empowers the panel to recommend raises next fiscal year for certain statewide elected officials. The Agency Head Salary Commission (AHSC) on Thursday– the start of the new fiscal year – approved the […]

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Senators keep tight control over county magistrates

April 14, 2021

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT If there’s one power that S.C. senators likely will never relinquish – at least willingly – it’s their control over the selection of the state’s more than 300 county magistrates. Magistrates, who handle traffic tickets and other relatively minor criminal and civil cases, know how much authority senators can exercise even […]

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Lawmaker-controlled panel violates state law – again

January 6, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee has once again violated a state law requiring that it provide the General Assembly with written individual evaluations of S.C. Public Service Commission members. The seven-member PSC’s authority includes setting utility rates for investor-owned gas and electric utilities. The PSC is holding additional public hearings this week on […]

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Hundreds of Santee Cooper employees receive ‘incentive’ bonuses

December 4, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT “Incentive” bonuses totaling more than $5 million were doled out this year to 1,463 Santee Cooper employees, with individual cash rewards averaging about $3,500 and topping out at $165,000 for a high-level executive, The Nerve found in a review of utility records. The records, provided by the state-created utility under the S.C. […]

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S.C. lawmakers continue tight grip on PSC elections

September 23, 2020

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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 […]

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PURC legislative members took junkets to utility industry-sponsored events

February 19, 2020

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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 […]

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

January 24, 2020

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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 […]

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