Post Tagged with: "ethics violations"

Questions Surrounding the HCSWA Board Member Elections

May 7, 2017 5:46 PM
Questions Surrounding the HCSWA Board Member Elections

Nothing is ever simple and straightforward when it involves the Horry County Solid Waste Authority (HCSWA) Board of Directors.

Last Tuesday, Horry County Council voted to appoint two members to the HCSWA board from among three nominated candidates. Two of the candidates, current board chairman Pam Creech and vice chairman Norfleet Jones, were incumbents. Candidate Sam Johnson was the outsider in the voting.

Creech was reelected by a majority of council members. However, Johnson and Jones tied in two successive votes with six each. After the first vote, Creech was named to remain on the board by council chairman Mark Lazarus who proceeded to hold a second ballot with just Jones and Johnson competing for one opening, against the advice of Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carotti.

Jones and Johnson tied with six votes each on both ballots.

Lazarus announced the second opening on the HCSWA board would be filled by council vote during council’s regular May 16, 2017 meeting. However, Lazarus stated nominations for the second position would remain open adding an additional question mark to the process.

The voting, however, only showed minor problems compared to what transpired before the vote.

On April 28, 2017, Esther Murphy, HCSWA’s Director of Recycling and Corporate Affairs sent an email to Horry County Council Clerk Pat Hartley with copies to all 12 members of county council as well as HCSWA Executive Director Danny Knight, Creech and Jones.

The email began, “Board member Norfleet Jones asked that we contact you regarding his term on the Solid Waste Authority Board, which ends on June 30, 2017. Mr. Jones indicated he would be completing his first term and would like to be reappointed to the Board for a second term…”

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S.C. Legislators Campaign Funds for Foreign Trips

December 26, 2014 10:23 AM
S.C. Legislators Campaign Funds for Foreign Trips

At least in the use of campaign funds, there seems to be bi-partisan support among S.C. legislators for trips abroad.

According to a recent article in The State newspaper, 11 representatives (8 Republicans and 3 Democrats) and a lone Republican senator made use of their campaign funds to pay for a trip to Israel.

According to the article, the legislators who made the trip were: Sen. Ray Cleary, R-Georgetown and Reps. Alan Clemmons, R-Horry, Heather Crawford, R-Horry, Stephen Goldfinch, R-Georgetown, Garry Smith, R-Greenville, Raye Felder, R-York, Shannon Erickson, R-Beaufort, Mike Forrester, R-Spartanburg, Mike Gambrell, R-Anderson, David Weeks, D-Sumter, Todd Rutherford, D-Richland and MaryGail Douglas, D-Fairfield.

Clemmons said in the article that the legislators used their campaign funds to cover the cost of the trip.

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Thoughts on S.C. Gubernatorial Debate

October 15, 2014 8:00 AM
Thoughts on S.C. Gubernatorial Debate

The first S.C. Gubernatorial Debate for 2014 is now history and it proved absolutely nothing.

Gov. Nikki Haley is cruising to a second term election victory next month as long as she doesn’t make any fatal errors. Haley is smart enough to avoid fatal errors and she’ll “spin” her way out of any other miscues she makes like she always does.

Haley’s comment about being found “not guilty” on ethics violation charges is a perfect example, even though she paid ethics fines for incomplete campaign finance records and for using a state plane for prohibited events.

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Bobby Harrell v. Alan Wilson, No Clear Advantage

June 25, 2014 8:30 AM
Bobby Harrell v. Alan Wilson, No Clear Advantage

Neither side seemed to come away with a clear advantage from yesterday’s S.C. Supreme Court arguments to determine whether the state grand jury investigating possible criminal ethics violations by S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell should continue.

Last month, S.C. Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning ruled that a state grand jury investigation into alleged ethics violations by Harrell should be terminated.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn Manning’s ruling and allow the investigation to continue, leading to yesterday’s hearing.

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Bobby Harrell v. Alan Wilson at Supreme Court Today

June 24, 2014 6:30 AM
Bobby Harrell v. Alan Wilson at Supreme Court Today

The S.C. Supreme Court will hear arguments beginning at 1:30 p.m. today on the continuing controversy over who has the right to investigate possibly illegal actions by S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

The case originally dates from an alleged ethics complaint brought to S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson by the libertarian South Carolina Policy Council. It included allegations that Harrell used his influence as Speaker to obtain a contract for his pharmaceutical supply business and improperly appointed his brother to a judicial candidate screening committee.

(In South Carolina, the legislature appoints a panel that screens judicial applicants and sends recommendations back to the legislature which votes on the recommendations for final approval of the judges. To further complicate the situation, many of the applicants are former legislators.)

The complaint also questioned the use of approximately $324,000 of Harrell’s campaign funds to reimburse himself for costs associated with trips in his personal airplane.

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Bobby Harrell Ethics Case Going to Grand Jury

January 13, 2014 9:00 PM
Bobby Harrell Ethics Case Going to Grand Jury

SC Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that he is referring the ethics case against SC Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell to the State Grand Jury.

The case includes investigation of the approximately $325,000 Harrell reimbursed to himself from campaign funds with only general records of the expenses, according to a series by Renee Dudley, then of the Charleston Post and Courier.

According to Dudley’s stories, Harrell failed to meet the requirements of state law section 8-13-1302, which enumerates requirements for maintenance of expenditure records from campaign contributions.

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Robert Ford Threatens Ethics Violations Exposure

September 11, 2013 7:00 AM
Robert Ford Threatens Ethics Violations Exposure

Former Sen. Robert Ford has said he will start calling names if S. C. lawmakers don’t stop the practice of using their public positions to grab millions of taxpayer dollars for personal gain.

In an article by Corey Hutchins of the Charleston City Paper, Ford is quoted as saying this will ‘make the tea party movement look like a beer drinking contest.

Ford resigned his longtime senate seat during S.C. Senate Ethics Committee hearings into alleged misuse by Ford of his campaign funds.

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Violating S.C. Ethics Law in Awendaw

August 26, 2013 10:00 AM
Violating S.C. Ethics Law in Awendaw

Candidate filing for the upcoming November 5, 2013 municipal elections for the Town of Awendaw city council opened August 22, 2013, and already there appears to be a violation of the S.C. Ethics Law.

The controversy hovers around candidate and current Mayor Pro-Tem Miriam Green and a recent article about her in the official “Town of Awendaw Newsletter”.

The newsletter is produced, printed and mailed by the town using taxpayer dollars to pay for the costs.

Its lead article in the September 2013 issue, which hit the mailboxes of Awendaw residents about the same time that filing opened, was about a community auditorium at the new Berkeley Electric Coop Service Center in Awendaw being named for Green, a 35-year employee of BEC.

IF the article had stopped right there, it would have been fine. However, it went on to praise Green for serving “her community well” and providing “jobs for many Town residents.”

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Election Filing Mess Leads 2012 Stories

December 31, 2012 9:00 AM
Election Filing Mess Leads 2012 Stories

As we look back on the news of 2012, the top story in South Carolina this year was the election filing mess that kept nearly 300 candidates off the ballot.

Most candidates affected were challengers to incumbent Republicans, although many Democrats got left off too, in the June primary. They were ineligible to be certified as candidates because the state and local Republican and Democratic parties did not understand, and did not make allowance for, a minor change in state law that required electronic filing of the candidates’ Statement of Economic Interests.

The party leaders never saw it coming and they blew it. I don’t believe it was a big conspiracy to keep new candidates off the ballot. Some newcomers did file properly and did get certified, too few for a real democratic process, however.

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Mia Butler Garrick: Where There’s Smoke…

June 20, 2012 2:44 PM
Mia Butler Garrick: Where There’s Smoke…

Rep. Mia Butler Garrick’s Session Recap Part 2 By Mia Butler Garrick Now, where were we?  Oh…back to the chaos that seems to monopolize the headlines and ensure South Kakalackey’s rightful place as the laughing stock of the nation.  In case you need a hint, I can sum it up […]

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