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.
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.
…..Operator: “calling New Jersey, please”
This is a stretch.
Will – Not following you here – owning a small share of the company certainly has the look of potential impropriety, but I think you would also need to show a nexus between his ownership and favorable votes for DOT, or DOT favorable treatment to the company as compared with other similarly situated companies. the no bid situation is a start but not the sine qua non.
Dear readers………is this a “deceptive” article that “Flanks” the real field movement..?!
If Ol’ Hugh were to “dispose” of his shares at this time to be in proper compliance of new ETHICS laws……..what “premium” would he receive..?! The history of John D. Rockefeller and rail and timber and highway easements and Steele and CONCRETE are very well known….!? We just wonder if HUGH understands the VAST wealth that investors and workers PENSIONS would receive from using the easements ABOVE the roadway and tracks that would take far LESS concrete and timber and FOREIGN OIL to benefit our state’s economy?! WALT Disney was not an idiot…was he..!? We wonder when was the last time Ol’ Hugh has been on a chair lift or Mono-Rail and actually discussed his grandchildren’s future with actual VOTERs…!!!???? OR…..troops getting killed for foreign OIL pipelines and mining rights…!?!
When history is revealed and reviewed, “transparent” Hugh will not be remembered too fondly I’m afraid. Its not the system we have…its what our system is capable of. Lining ones own pockets while BLOCKING competing economic interests that benefit society and PENSIONS is very disturbing.
According to SC Sec. of State, the re3gistered agent for Florence Concrete is Fred H Cross, Jr. Fred was also the registered agent for Wyboo Investments and Wyboo Water Dept, Inc. Is that a nom de plume? Of course, that’s nothing compared to all the companies which show Hugh/Jean Leatherman as the agent. A couple are Leatherman Realty and Leacon. Probably the emphasis on con.
lizard man? aliens? water on mars!? whats next for the FBI/X files to look at?
Anybody remember the Thrift Brothers case up in Seneca?
I *&$%# sure do, I still drive some of the roads those criminals screwed up.
I do. People went to jail in that one
Tell us about the Thift brothers. Weren’t they builders?
Sorry, meant Thrift. What did they do wrong?
Bribing people for state business. Though back then, that was the way thegame was played.
I drive those shitty roads too, Colonel. Terrible work or crappy materials, or both.
It appears that the name of the company’s registered agent was changed to Fred Cross in 2010.
Is Florence concrete currently under contract to provide services to the state? It is not uncommon to have multiple year contracts. This article is nothing but fodder without additional details.
No more career politicians! Laws, even if they are in place, are abused or disregarded. “This is the way business is done, quid pro quo, tongue in cheek, I had no prior knowledge, …delegated tasks to subordinates…,” yada, yada , yada, poppycock!
I would not be surprised at all if he is receiving funds through this company. Mr. Leatherman has some shady things going on. Try looking at the State plane flight logs for 2008-2009.
Anyway, he has introduced a bill this session (S211), that has the longest title for a bill that I’ve ever read. It would take this poor, slow soul 3 hours just to read the full summary on the Senate floor. It contains proposed changes on everything from education, a rural dentist program, DHHS, DHEC, DSS, Dept. of Agriculture, DNR (wants to give officers a $600 per year clothing allowance), DPRT (wants to close the State House gift shop on weekends), and yes – the DOT is included in this long, drawn-out nonsense.
This bill is solely sponsored by Leatherman. Frankly, I don’t know of any other Senator that would read it, much less add their name to it. It’s a joke.
It is a codification bill to codify various parts of the state budget into permanent law so they don’t have to be redundantly addressed every year.
Really? So, the clothing allowance for DNR officers, or closing the State House gift shop on weekends is redundantly addressed every year? Those two issues have nothing to do with code. And that’s only two issues that I addressed, and not the entire fluff that’s contained in this nonsensical bill. This bill solves absolutely nothing.
SCDOT’s Chief Engineer John Walsh’s new wife (after his first wife divorced him in 6 months) is friends with Ol’ Hugh. Maybe that explains it.
Are they still using round river rock instead of crushed stone?