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FITSNews – June 2, 2008 – The recent pay-to-play scandal involving a Clemson University trustee who bought his way onto the school’s board with contributions to state lawmakers goes much deeper, legislators are telling FITSNews.

Specifically, Defender Services’ CEO John N. “Nicky” McCarter is said to have cut many more checks than those which were originally disclosed in Friday’s edition of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper.

“People have been ripping up those Defender checks all week,” one lawmaker told FITSNews. “There may have only been six people dumb enough to cash them right after they voted for the guy, but I can tell you there’s a lot more lawmakers who got them.”

Six lawmakers – State Sen. Catherine Ceips and five democrats – received contributions from McCarter’s company just weeks before they voted to elect him to the Clemson University board.

Lt. Gov Andre Bauer and several other lawmakers also received (and cashed) checks from McCarter’s company, but they either voted for someone else or abstained from voting altogether. In Bauer’s case, he would have only been required to vote for or against McCarter’s nomination in the event there was a tie.

Campaign contributions are not required to be disclosed until the checks have actually been cashed, and according to our sources, several lawmakers are wanting to put some distance between their votes on the trustee election and the time the contributions show up on their disclosure forms.

Unless of course they’ve already ripped the checks up …

“You wait a couple months till the primaries are done and this whole thing blows over,” our legislative source said. “I suspect you’ll find lots of Defender checks being cashed once the dust has settled.”

Oh, and in case you’re wondering what a urinal cake is doing at the top of this story, Defender Services, Inc. supplies equipment to those who practice the custodial arts.