SC

“Mayorhood” Original Target Of Federal Probe

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…

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 … 

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53 comments

jimlewisowb December 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm

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T Bone’s Even A Gnat’s Ass Ain’t Safe Personal Lubricant will retail for about $29.95 for a 4 oz. tube

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shifty henry December 19, 2013 at 8:47 am

Ford knows where you can buy it cheaper, and it comes with a keychain magnifying glass……

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Slartibartfast December 19, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I’m just wondering when Will will do the next hit-piece on the Governess and the failure of the retirement money people. I was thinking he could call it, “Nikki’s Dough-Joe.”

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Peter O. December 18, 2013 at 5:26 pm

I’m no fan of Mayor Benjamin (at all!) and was one of the first to criticize his ties with the Village at River’s Edge (way back in 2010).
But, to be fair to the mayor, nothing in The State article shows Benjamin ever doing anything wrong. It sounds like Pinson & his cronies made a sales pitch to the city, the city’s housing director smelled a rat, and the offer was rejected.
But it still begs the question of how/if the mayor could be so completely oblivious about the fraud his former business partner was allegedly committing.

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Jay Ellington December 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm

You’re assuming that the FBI investigation into Mayor POS is over?

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The Colonel December 19, 2013 at 4:36 am

I’m hoping for three things:

1 – Lil’Stevie knows he’s guilty and that he has some conscience – so it’ll gnaw at him every day until “the knock” comes

2 – The Feds know he’s guilty and are just waiting (and willing) to act (there’s some doubt about the “will” here (that’s the “innate desire” “will” not our floundering editor))

3 – They’ll wait until I get home in May to fit him with the stainless steel cuff links

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Jay Ellington December 19, 2013 at 9:04 am

He probably has a little area in his starter mansion where he goes to weep. Shitting his pants is probably an understatement.

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venomachine December 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

Regarding point 1: He’s a lawyer. He has no conscience. I have it on good authority that they remove it once you pass the bar.

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Nostradamus December 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I’ve never heard of a “former target” so long as plea deals are outstanding. I expect a shake out now that the wires have been deemed admissible. It’s not over for the Mayor.

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Jay Ellington December 18, 2013 at 8:42 pm

It’s only just begun for him.

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Just maybe December 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Just wondering, could it be that the Feds. are so busy with all of the corruption with the :
Lexington Ring and it’s associates,
Mayor Benjamine and his cohorts,
the corrupt Sheriffs ,
and Legislators being looked into.
They are so swamped with work that they cannot finish one indepth investigation until another pops up?

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Jeffy01 December 18, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Don’t forget Horry vote buying, The Speaker, Half the Senate, the Lexington mafia etc etc. all indictments are coming down everyday….or so we are told. We should check w the Policy Council?

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Judith December 19, 2013 at 9:02 am

Don’t forget Jean Toal and Don Beatty trampling the due process rights of judges and attorneys….

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Mguzman December 20, 2013 at 6:55 am

They just get so busy they seem to forget just as with this Lexington Ring that has kind of vanished so whats up with that? Guess they’ll get around to it one day!!!!

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Thomas December 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm

The way it works, citing SC politicians, Sheriff’s, business owners who can evade ethics complaints or criminal prosecutions as examples, if you are a Mason, all the powers of hell will be used to not prosecute or if a lot of Mason’s are involved, like a gambling ring or racketeering, all the powers of hell will be used to pin it on someone else. Mason’s on the bench, in the law offices, in uniforms, in executive positions in banking and commerce all look out for each other to the 33rd degree. Benjamin is obviously being looked over for one reason or another. I suspect masonic connections somewhere in the food chain. Btw, once they get to you, in or out, you will owe them favors for the rest of your political life or say, your wife’s career on the bench. I might also add, to those that keep harping on their illicit proclivities will be silenced on way or another.

I was working with a newlywed some years ago in Columbia. I was amazed at his rapid advancement in the corporation. Being somewhat intelligent, I was selected to take over his position based on my ability. As he trained me, while I used tried and true methods law enforcement uses to get criminal confessions,(see John Reid books), he confided with me his masonic connections. He stated he was “selected” because his wife’s daddy was a mason. They found out everything about his life and he had to confess everything to them about his life as part of the initiation. I asked him what good was it to be a mason. He said if you ever get in trouble with the law, and the judge, sheriff etc are masons you will get off the charges. If you need a bank loan and the banker is a fellow mason, you get it. They always will hire fellow masons for jobs and rapidly promote fellow masons. Being a mason to him meant he will always have or get that loan or good paying job ’cause fellow masons look out for each other. I was once asked to join and I said I was catholic. I now expect the door to be kicked in for some fabricated indictment or some other harassment, they are that vindictive towards anyone who tells it like it is regarding masons and their history in America and Europe. So be it.

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Same ol' Same ol' December 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm

2b1ask1

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Left Columbia and glad for it December 19, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Connect all the dots and associates. Tameika, EW, Charles Austin, Tony. Now connect crooked events; SC State embezzlement, land deal, restaurant at Sandhills shady bankruptcy. Oh yeah Ruben and the Gang at Cola PD. The rednecks across the River investigation bled over across the River to the boyz n da hood and bingo all the Columbia rats are running. The Cola gang will get Obama’s boy, Clyburn to drop the word with Eric Holder and it will all go away! Presto, even the fat redneck Lexington mafia ex capes.

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Henry MixMaster December 20, 2013 at 10:32 am

I wouldn’t assume that at all. Clyburn doesn’t have that much swing and the grapevine says that a number of the players have been so — ahem — indiscrete that the prosecutors have to go forward with this. The local players mean nothing to the Obama Administration and you (and the Mayor himself) are assuming that T-Bone is heir apparent to Clyburn’s seat. Which may not at all be true, particularly when Clyburns daughter is making a name for herself as a bright, competent and deft politician during her short time now on the Federal Communications Commission.

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Jay Ellington December 19, 2013 at 8:40 am

It could be masonic connections or it could have everything to do with Lott being BFFs with Biden, and Biden being in the ear of that subhuman Eric Holder.

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Hiriam Abiff December 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm

You don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

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Soft Sigh from Hell December 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

FREEMASONS, n. An order with secret rites, grotesque ceremonies and fantastic costumes, which, originating in the reign of Charles II, among working artisans of London, has been joined successively by the dead of past centuries in unbroken retrogression until now it embraces all the generations of man on the hither side of Adam and is drumming up distinguished recruits among the pre-Creational inhabitants of Chaos and Formless Void. The order was founded at different times by Charlemagne, Julius Caesar, Cyrus, Solomon, Zoroaster, Confucious, Thothmes, and Buddha. Its emblems and symbols have been found in the Catacombs of Paris and Rome, on the stones of the Parthenon and the Chinese Great Wall, among the temples of Karnak and Palmyra and in the Egyptian Pyramids — always by a Freemason.
–Ambrose Bierce

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Capt. Chucktown December 23, 2013 at 5:26 am

Got any pics of these mentioned above, you know, evidences.

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Soft Sigh from Hell December 28, 2013 at 11:07 am

Whoosh!

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Capt. Chucktown December 23, 2013 at 5:17 am

Ah yes, the bench.

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niggalove December 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Oh yessir. My long time FRIEND and BUSINESS PARTNER is a total piece of shit CORRUPT GANGSTER and NEGRO MAFIA HOODLAM. And I never had a clue evens tho i beenz wit him alot ober da last bunch o years. Yea right!!! I beez born in queens. Yo Meyor.

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niggalove December 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm

My wifes coudn’t pass no SAT at no 550 verbal but she be a circuit courts judge, figur dat, I be da big nig in dis city. Da back o my neck got four wrinkles. dat make me da fomam on dis heah plantation. Nobody I evers did know has never done nothin crooked eva. And I swears dat be da trutdh.

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niggalove December 18, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Mya hed beez az big as dat steamship round at de ole SandS cabeteria on Gervais yeas ago. Crookked as I is, da hood leedahs, still puts da woid out dat i is to be voded fo. Glory beez. Pluz, I beez a lawyaz.

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niggalove December 18, 2013 at 11:01 pm

An i fogot to say eby jew politishun since 1940 dun sho been goot to me an my famy. ye suh de democraps is my frients ya suh. Weez is habby now.

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John Blaze December 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm

Wow … gotta love you South Carolina conservative Republicans. I bet you’re a prominent businessman or lawyer down in SC as well. (smh) Of course, you and your country club pals really think black folks, especially a guy as educated as Benjamin, talk like that. (smh) Although I was born and raised in South Carolina, I left your God-forsaken state years ago. Reading comments like these remind me of my good fortunate to have left.

John Blaze December 18, 2013 at 11:38 pm

“fortune”

niggalove December 19, 2013 at 12:25 am

The predator, intelligent negroes are always corrupt. Always. Tell me about the successful negroes you know who don’t cash a taxpayer check or who aren’t involved in politics in some way or another.

John Blaze December 19, 2013 at 2:18 am

“Predator, intelligent negroes … always corrupt.” lol. Hilarious – you sound like Ben Tillman, Bill Buckley, or one of your other conservative heroes. Heck, tell me about “the successful white people” who don’t cash a taxpayer check, aren’t involved in politics in some way or another, didn’t inherit a piece of their start-up cash from their daddy, or didn’t get some other kind of hook-up from their parents. Smh – you South Carolina conservatives are too funny.

Jay Ellington December 19, 2013 at 8:34 am

While his style and approach may be way off base, have you ever heard Mayor Benjamin speak? It’s not very pretty, especially when it’s at something like Vista Lights or the Maxcy Gregg Park Centennial. He sounds like a complete moron, and to feel in the pit of your stomach like most of these allegations about Benjamin are true, when you step back and look at the whole picture of what has taken place since he’s been in office my money is on him being guilty of a LOT of stuff. For the record John, I am a South Carolina “conservative” who would never imagine writing a bunch of ebonics laden commentary like our poster “niggalove”. PS, I’m successful and have had none of the white rewards you speak of… I wish I had inherited anything, I’ve had to work for every dime of mine.

John Blaze December 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

Jay – Benjamin may not be the greatest stump speaker in the world but his grammar is just fine. That’s largely the issue that I had with “Niggalove”‘s diatribe.
And no offense, Jay, but your desire to ever use “ebonics” or your work ethic are irrelevant here. I’ve seen enough of the anonymous comments from other Southern conservatives on this site to know that Niggalove’s comments are a good representation of how a wide swath of you think/feel about African Americans (and then you wonder why black people vote against your candidates 9 to 1).
And in terms of work ethic – all I remember growing up in your sad State is the number of breaks that white students got from the local leadership (who were all white and all conservative) in comparison to equally situated black students (from selection to certain clubs in school to job opportunities right after high school). So my memories of growing up down there compared with Niggalove’s insinuations about black success (as opposed to white success) give me even more of a chuckle.

Jay Ellington December 19, 2013 at 10:48 am

Probably helps that I’ve lived in NH, IL, NE, FL, NC, and VA. SC is just another stop along the way. Had I know Columbia was going to be run into the ground by Coble (towards the end of his tenure) and now this cancer we have as a mayor, I wouldn’t have purchased my first house in Columbia, let alone my 2nd or 3rd. This place is on a trajectory to become the NOLA or Detroit of South Carolina and Benjamin has shifted that plight into warp speed. The strong mayor push was about nothing but a power mad corrupt, failed land developer/scammer trying to grab more power to effortlessly run this city into the ditch and continue infecting city administration with his minions. It’s disgusting what’s happening here.

John Blaze December 19, 2013 at 11:07 am

Jay – I don’t live down there anymore, so I don’t have a dog in that fight regarding a strong mayor versus a weak one. That said, it is somewhat funny to hear you fear of Columbia being on the verge of becoming the NOLA or Detroit of South Carolina, when the whole state of South Carolina – with its “limited government, no investment in infrastructure/future” ideology – is already ranked last in about every significant economic category. In other areas of the country, much of the state investments made in infrastructure, education, etc. are done largely because citizens and elected officials fear that their states will become another South Carolina or Mississippi.

John Blaze December 19, 2013 at 10:06 am

Jay – Benjamin may not be the greatest stump speaker but his grammar is just fine. That’s the main issue I had with Niggalove’s diatribe.
And no offense to you, but your desire to ever use “ebonics” or your work ethic are irrelevant here. I’ve seen enough of the comments on this site from other South Carolina conservatives to know that Niggalove’s comments are a good representation of how a wide swath of you feel about African Americans (and then you wonder why black folks vote against your candidates 9 to 1).
And regarding worth ethic, I remember growing up down there and remember very well the breaks that white students (even the poor ones) got in comparison to equally situated black students (from selection to certain clubs to job opportunities right after high school). So those memories of growing up in your sad State in comparison to Niggalove’s comments make me chuckle even more.

Cindy December 19, 2013 at 5:44 am

Wonder what’s going on with the murder investigation of dead Donald?

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venomachine December 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

I guess the original target was Tony Lawton and T-bone atracted attention because he was up to his neck in River’s Edge and Lawton at the time?

Makes sense.

The whole Columbia Housing Authority was/is a mess, IMO.

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venomachine December 19, 2013 at 8:21 am

ooops…not housing authority….Community Development Department.

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nitrat December 19, 2013 at 9:40 am

Am I the ONLY person who sees an ‘edit’ button after I make a post on Disqus?

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venomachine December 19, 2013 at 10:49 am

I see it NOW.

Apathy is a major driver with me.

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nitrat December 19, 2013 at 11:02 am

Thanks for letting me know I am not delusional…in this case.

historybuff December 19, 2013 at 10:04 am

Aren’t people generally judged by the company they keep? It seems unbelievable to me that Benjamin, as smart a guy as he obviously is, would have no clue as to the character of his long-time best friend and business partner.

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Justsayin December 20, 2013 at 7:11 am

Re: da’ mayor, has anyone consider that he might have become a cooperating witness?

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snarkycondition December 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm

wasn’t this on the front page of the State newspaper a few days ago? Somebody wake Will up.

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scotty December 20, 2013 at 10:42 am

I do believe the wire taps will be most revealing and put T-Bone on the street. Being a target doesn’t just go away he was sent a letter naming him. There are a lot of folks involved and they will do the usual prosecution small fish to big black fish. Once the Bureau run the microscope up some of the defendants ass the roll over will start.

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southmauldin January 1, 2014 at 6:27 am

Hey Fits, tell us some more about the gun.

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snickering January 4, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Mayor was extremely polite and gracious when he told the reporter who insisted on speaking when he told the press (no comment). On the other hand i would have said “SHUT THE FUCK UP” But thats just me.

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scsweepin January 10, 2014 at 11:03 am

I wish I was the target of his probe.

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Homie January 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Crooked Bastid.

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Sinjin Smyth February 1, 2014 at 7:44 pm

1. Blacks outnumber whites in the City of Columbia.
2. The people who ran against Benjamin were jokes.
So don’t read into that that the taxpayers of Columbia wanted Benjamin again. People in subsidized and free housing do not pay City taxes.

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Sinjin Smyth February 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm

You’re going down fat peanut head. Go get him FBI !

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