SC

The Littlest Digger’s “Concrete Corruption” Expands

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)….

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.

Convenient, huh?

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.

***

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21 comments

DeAndre Cole February 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

A politician that lies, cheats and steals? Poppycock!

Reply
interested February 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm

“As with the initial $1.4 million we found, none of this cash was reported by Leatherman on his statements of economic interest – ……”

Allright. This would seem to be a prime opportunity to file a complaint with the Ethics Commission, as well as a complaint to the not-yet-formed ethics unit within the AG’s office. (or have we all forgotten about that? Wilson even hired the guy to run it already.)

Who’s gonna do it?

Reply
Roscoe February 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm

The majority of crooks in America are tied in through government. Politicians,government workers and fraudsters!

Reply
Ron February 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm

This activity is already against the law. The state through Ethics or the Attorney General can act but they have refused.

The noise you hear, with reference to SC fighting white collar crime or ethical violations, is crickets.

No chance at all action will be taken. I know, I have been watching this go on for almost 60 years.

Reply
The Dome February 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I’ve seen leatherman play fast and loose with taxpayer money for years. There is no amount large enough for Hugh. He goes overboard to repay campaign contributors with State Grants, contracts and pork.
One of the biggest problems with Hugh, get rid of him and you get Harvey Peeler, who is much worse in every category and is a vindictive, vengeful bastard, who would screw a snake if you pulled it’s fangs.

Reply
Thebeachisback February 5, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Fits, your feed is fizzling! Not too many bloggers these days! Maybe your fifteen minutes is up!

Reply
OohPlease February 5, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Why would you need to pull its fangs? Leave them in and e result would probably be the same.

Reply
Oskar February 5, 2013 at 6:51 pm

Like me, Leatherman stayed in his mother’s womb too long. Inside, Leatherman’s ears grew like cabbage leaves. When he finally emerged, his growth was stunted and he’s fixated on beating money out of others.

Myself, I take it out on my tin drum.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTPZn-T3wZE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDv4U8SVUBw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oEipaRXVTQ

Reply
Mohanna February 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm

This is not news. Check into the Nursing Homes, Hotel on the River in Charleston and so much more.

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Hal February 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Leatherman has complete protection from the feds and Allan Wilson.

Attorney General Wilson’s mom is from Florence County. They shovel cash at Wilson. He takes it. He lives on it and will never give it up.

The only reason Eddie Floyd’s “boy” Ken Ard is out of office is because Corey Hutchinson at the Free Times and Will Folks gift wrapped it for Wilson so that he had NO CHOICE but to act.

Leatherman has run the Investment Commission, Infrastructure Bank, DOT, Ports Authority and every other meaningful bucket of cash for years and it is foolish to think anyone is going to stop it. He and his fellow schemers have made tens of millions of dollars and they have spread it around so that they are above the law.

PS Look at the land records near several of Santee Cooper interests. $$$$$

Reply
DAVIS February 6, 2013 at 12:48 am

He is not even a South Carolinean, another transplant that has come here to show us ignorant native born South Carolineans a better way.

Reply
Amelia Peabody Emerson February 5, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Yes, he will stop. He can’t live forever. But “it” won’t stop because there will be someone in line to take over the racket.

Reply
Eric February 6, 2013 at 7:25 am

Will,

You need to be better informed about the ways of the Pee Dee. Leatherman is their man on the scene but the masters are the ones that make everything possible. They sit in law, medicine, large nonprofits, on boards and commissions and in local governments.

They are related to people like State Attorney General Alan Wilson and Federal District Attorney William Nettles.

They laugh at the law and they do not know the concept of shame. They are ruthless.

Be careful if you write abut them. They will allow you to play, but if you get serious you should fear for your safety.

Eric of the pee Dee

Reply
sam February 6, 2013 at 7:37 am

Oh please. His bio has always listed him as an owner of Florence Concrete. Everyone knows DOT does business with every SC company in existence. No news here.

Reply
Jeffy01 February 6, 2013 at 9:27 am

So will leatherman get indicted before or after the Horry county pay to play scoundrels? I thought sources had one or the other happening soon….right?

Reply
MeadowMuffin February 6, 2013 at 9:53 am

Is his concrete still made with round gravel instead of crushed stone???

Reply
? February 6, 2013 at 10:08 am

Leatherface has quite a nice job and steering tax payer dollars his way surreptitiously.

One has to admire the gusto by which he’s engaged in deception and possibly illegal fund steering.

I’d be surprised to see another pol in the state more successful in terms of raw dollar amounts. What a poster boy for corruption.

Reply
? February 6, 2013 at 10:11 am

edit “has done quite a nice job of steering tax payer dollars”

Reply
jimlewis,owb February 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

John, this is The Senator

Same to you, I need a little concrete for the driveway to my new hunting lodge

Well it will be a little over 2 miles long and say 12’ to 14’ wide

OK, it is a tad more than a little

Oh, the fellas over at DOT will be ordering it. On the PO it will read “concrete for driveway stabilization” and the “cubic yards needed” space will be left blank

No, no, no don’t order it from Florence Concrete Products. I said I wanted concrete not shitcrete

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Joe February 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm

Even the new “proposed” changes to the ethics laws does not address the the favorite loophole of all politicians. The only have to report income paid directly to them by a state agency or lobbyist. The do not have to report memberships in LLC, LLP’s stock options, other assets or income from these entities. How many politicians and well connected “businessmen” own shares in the various I73 Land Grab LLC’s. Politicians and all department head level or higher public employees should disclose their federal income tax returns and statements of all assets owned and any connection those entities have to government spending or government policy.

Reply
junior justice February 6, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Hmmmm, it might pay to be careful in making suggestions because these guys may not like your tickling their balls.

Reply

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