Columbia, S.C. mayor Steve Benjamin (a.k.a. “Mayorhood”) was the original target of a federal investigation that has ensnared several corrupt government leaders … or so says a defense attorney familiar with the case.
The attorney – Jim Griffin – represents Jonathan Pinson, a former chairman of the S.C. State University board of trustees who stands accused taking kickbacks in connection with a $3 million public land deal.
Griffin told his story to John Monk of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper this week – although he couldn’t say whether the federal investigation into Benjamin was ongoing.
Benjamin has refused to address the case, telling one local television reporter who asked him about it to “grow up.”
Classy guy …
The federal probe appears to have its origins with Benjamin’s involvement in the shady ‘Village at Rivers’ Edge’ deal – a government-subsidized affordable housing boondoggle. This project – which received at least $7.8 million in federal “stimulus” money and millions more in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (USHUD) – officially went belly-up earlier this year.
Of course Benjamin has been accused of far worse than shady land deals … yet was overwhelmingly reelected mayor of Columbia by a broad margin last month.
We’re intrigued by this latest development, but we highly doubt “Mayorhood” will ever be held accountable for his actions. Especially given what he’s gotten away with in the past …