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Hugh Leatherman’s “Concrete” Corruption?

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At a time when road work in the Palmetto State has literally ground to a standstill, a concrete firm co-owned by fiscally liberal S.C. Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman (RINO-Florence) in raking in cash from the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT).

In fact it has been for years …

Florence Concrete Products – founded by Leatherman in 1955 – is no stranger to controversy over its government accounts. In fact Leatherman – then a Democrat – was the subject of a major scandal back in 1991 when the Associated Press revealed Florence Concrete Products had received $1.2 million in secretive, no-bid contracts from state government.

At the time Leatherman claimed the bids were “routinely handled by subordinates without my knowledge or involvement.”

Twenty-two years later, Leatherman is still padding his pockets with tax dollars.

Take a look at these recent expenditures we uncovered …

10/20/2010 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $110,090.34
11/2/2010 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $109,340.63
11/22/2010 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $137,662.20
12/1/2010 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $73,934.62
12/17/2010 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $25,746.08
1/27/2011 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $110,762.66
3/18/2011 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $63,346.86
3/24/2011 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $32,606.82
4/18/2011 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $260,827.61
6/23/2011 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $68,918.70
9/5/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $38,760.75
9/21/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $28,518.25
9/25/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $25,848.79
11/13/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $39,145.95
11/15/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $19,288.89
11/16/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $107,835.14
11/26/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $18,720.72
11/30/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $35,945.05
10/19/2012 – HIGHWAYS & PUBLIC TRANS FD – $3,046.29
12/27/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $40,826.39
12/28/2012 – NON-FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY FUND – $20,970.40

That adds up to $1.4 million over the last twenty-six months if you’re keeping score at home. And obviously that’s just a sampling of the data from one agency … we’re told there’s much more where that came from.

So … how much of this largesse goes into Leatherman’s pocket?

It’s not immediately clear. According to company president Sherry M. Jones, Leatherman has “a very small ownership interest” in Florence Concrete Products – but “no involvement” in the day-to-day operation of the firm.

Jones declined to provide any specifics regarding the size or value of Leatherman’s ownership stake – and the powerful Senate Finance Chairman failed to list any income from Florence Concrete Products (or any income from government contracts) on his statements of economic interest for the last three years.

Hmmmmm …

SCDOT has been an unmitigated disaster under S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley. In fact in mid-2011 Haley had to beg U.S. President Barack Obama for a $52 million bailout to keep the agency afloat. Since then the agency has balanced its budget by effectively stopping all paving and maintenance work.

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