Last week this website broke the story of powerful S.C. Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman’s secretive “concrete connection” – a.k.a. his undisclosed co-ownership of a Florence, S.C.-based concrete company which has been raking in big, sweet dollars from state government (even though paving work has been suspended across the state).
Curious? Absolutely …
Corrupt? Um … this is South Carolina, people. Duh.
Leatherman – a.k.a. the “Littlest Digger” – is arguably the most powerful public official in the Palmetto State, effectively controlling the budget as it makes its way through the State Senate. He’s also one of the most corrupt public officials in the Palmetto State – which is a recipe for disaster if you’re a South Carolina taxpayer.
Anyway, our exclusive report last week unearthed $1.4 million in payments from the S.C. Department of Transportation to Leatherman’s company – Florence Concrete Products – over the last twenty-six months.
That’s a tidy sum, but after more digging we’ve been able to uncover at least $7.7 million in payments to Florence Concrete Products over the past six fiscal years.
Take a look …
FY 2007-08 – HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES – $2,889,438
FY 2008-09 – HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES – $1,225,228
FY 2009-10 – HSHLD LNDRY GROUNDS MAINTENANCE AND SEC SERVICES – $17,790
FY 2009-10 – HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES – $742,849
FY 2010-11 – HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES – $993,237
FY 2011-12 – FIXED CHARGES AND CONTRIBUTIONS – RENT-OTHER – $12,893
FY 2011-12 – BUILDING CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION – $612,279
FY 2011-12 – HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES – $862,624
FY 2012-13 – FREIGHT EXPRESS DELIVERY SERVICES – $618
FY 2012-13 – HIGHWAY MAINTENANCE SUPPLIES – $378,907
As with the initial $1.4 million we found, none of this cash was reported by Leatherman on his statements of economic interest – campaign filing documents lawmakers are required to submit each year in an effort to expose conflicts of interest.
Also remember this is money from just one agency dating back just six years. As we noted in our previous post Leatherman’s first was receiving seven figures from the SCDOT as far back as 1991 – when he was still wearing a “D” behind his name.