SC Chief Justice Scam: How The Black Caucus Was Bought

ALLEGED RACIAL SOP HELPED DETERMINE OUTCOME OF HIGH COURT ELECTION Things don’t just happen in South Carolina politics … There are always vested interests behind the scenes … pulling strings and applying pressure to ensure that the politics of a particular decision (not the merits) always prevail. This is (not…


Things don’t just happen in South Carolina politics …

There are always vested interests behind the scenes … pulling strings and applying pressure to ensure that the politics of a particular decision (not the merits) always prevail.

This is (not surprisingly) the case as it relates to the recently concluded legislative election for chief justice of the S.C. Supreme Court – in which incumbent Jean Toal defeated challenger Costa Pleicones by a 95-74 vote margin. As we repeated ad nauseam, we had no interest in the outcome of this race.

Both Toal and Pleicones are aging liberals, and their battle was based on a personal grudge … not philosophical disagreement. So while we covered the unfolding drama, we did not engage editorially – opting to stay out of a meaningless contest.

Still, the process by which Toal was chosen – like almost every vote cast in the S.C. General Assembly – was rotten to its core.

For starters, there was a furious effort mounted on Toal’s behalf by S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell – who is currently staring down a grand jury investigation into corruption charges. Harrell aggressively lobbied lawmakers for Toal – and supporters of both judges agree he “moved votes.”

How did he do that?  The way legislative leaders always move votes – by dangling coveted committee assignments and pork barrel spending items in front of greedy lawmakers.

But there was a much bigger corruption at work in this legislative election – one allegedly orchestrated by Harrell, former Democratic minority leader Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg) and GOP “Majority” Leader Bruce Bannister, a “Republican” from Greenville, S.C.

According to multiple lawmakers, lobbyists, judges and attorneys who spoke with FITS in the aftermath of the race, the real scandal involved the only other contested judicial election on the ballot – a family court judge’s position in the state’s thirteenth judicial circuit.


This race – between Greenville, S.C. attorney Katherine Tiffany and S.C. Department of Social Services lawyer Tarita Dunbar – was a done deal. Or it was before meddling legislative leaders saw an opportunity to play the race card in an effort to shift black votes in the chief justice’s race.

“Dunbar was used as a carrot to bring the Black Caucus to Toal,” one of our sources explains, noting that “Tiffany was by far the more qualified – not to mention the choice of the Greenville County (legislative) delegation.”

Typically, lawmakers defer to a local delegation on family court judges. That’s not out of respect, mind you, it’s part of a back-scratching arrangement in which legislators (many of whom are attorneys) protect their home turf. In this case that arrangement got turned on its head, though, as Harrell, Cobb-Hunter and Bannister allegedly cooked up a scheme to throw virtually the entire Black Caucus into Toal’s camp.

How’d they do that? By agreeing to appoint Dunbar – who is black – over Tiffany to the Greenville County family court position.

“(Tiffany) was a sacrificial lamb,” one GOP lawmaker told FITS. “And they slaughtered her to appease the race Gods and get their corrupt chief justice elected.”

Whoa …

Another lawmaker who confirmed the corrupt deal told FITS that Dunbar – an attorney with the S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS) – had “virtually no courtroom experience.”

Still, she won election by a 96-72 margin – an almost identical vote count to the one in the chief justice’s race. And all but a handful of the black caucus voted for her.

FITS is currently investigating a wide range of other tips related to improper inducements – some taxpayer-funded – in exchange for votes cast by lawmakers in the recent judicial elections. Count on several follow-up stories …

In the meantime, we would reiterate our support for eliminating the inherently corrupt practice of legislative election of judges – and urge lawmakers to move to a system of gubernatorial appointment (with the S.C. Senate providing advice and consent).

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Jackie Chiles February 6, 2014 at 2:01 pm

A democrat would never do that. Right bluescwoman?

SCBlueWoman February 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Wrong is wrong, I don’t care what party it is. Looks like all fits’ confirmations were GOP members. That said, I’m not for the governor appointing any of them, especially this governor whose appointments are severely lacking.

Funny February 6, 2014 at 2:18 pm

” I don’t care what party it is”

Let us all remember this moment.

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm

In South Carolina, it seems you got some serious shit going on in *both* parties – it’s like some kind of political twilight zone… but unless I miss my guess, the state *wants* to be red, but they’ve been fucked so hard and so often, they’re leaning blue anyway.

Funny February 6, 2014 at 3:38 pm

The mistake is believing in the paradigm.

The solution? Doubtful there is one. People have trouble thinking outside the box.

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Maybe y’all should legalize pot and lsd – seems like you missed the whole woodstock thing.

Funny February 6, 2014 at 3:42 pm

It would certainly encourage outside the box thinking…but there’s the whole chicken vs. the egg thing.

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 4:40 pm

true.. I’ve always thought that those who can think outside of the box already, just discover that’s what they’ve been doing all along. And those who can’t just get stoned.

…which, back to the original point, is why Republicans never change.

CarolinaGirl February 6, 2014 at 9:36 pm

There’s something you must understand about our state government. Yes, there are many Republicans in our Legislature, but there’s many (and yes MANY) behind the scenes that are Democrats. I know this to be true. You have many staunch Democrats working for Republican legislators. It’s the nature of things. Personally, I don’t give a rat’s behind whether our state is blue (used to be the Republican ID), or red, because I want what’s best for my state. If we are unable to elect people, D or R, who have the fortitude, knowledge and integrity to run the business of South Carolina, then we’re screwed to start with.

euwe max February 7, 2014 at 7:58 am

You have many staunch Democrats working for Republican legislators.

quislings… collaborators…partisans…


euwe max February 7, 2014 at 3:00 pm

You have many staunch Democrats working for Republican legislators.
There’s only one remedy for that:

Jackie Chiles February 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm

The black caucus is republican?

SCBlueWoman February 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm

His sources were not the black caucus. So I did not say they were republican, although in this state and florida some are.

Jackie Chiles February 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm

You have a list of Sic’s sources and their party affiliation?

Asked and Answered February 6, 2014 at 6:25 pm

How do you know Sic has “sources?”

All we know for sure is he has a keyboard!

The Enquirer February 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm

When does SC get to have a “white caucus”(history not withstanding)?

Jackie Chiles February 6, 2014 at 2:36 pm

When our demographics look like South Africa’s.

Jay Ellington February 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Same time we get to have White Entertainment Television, White History Month, The United Caucasian College Fund, National Association for the Advancement of Caucasian People, etc, etc, etc.

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 3:25 pm

I’m half white, so I drink water out of both sides of my mouth.

Mary February 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm

White Entertainment Television – ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox,

White History Month (pick one and open a history book)

The United Caucasian College Fund (Who’s stopping you there are plenty of private foundations that pay 95+% of their scholarship money to white kids)

National Association for the Advancement of Caucasian People – KKK, Tea Party, GOP.

Jay Ellington February 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Just to race baiters like yourself.

Ha Ha February 6, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Youre calling someone a “race baiter?


shifty henry February 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm

These are the only “WHITE” holidays I found —








Jan February 6, 2014 at 4:34 pm

When does SC get to have a “white caucus’?

We have one already, its called the Republican Party.

The Enquirer February 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm

Does Tim Scott know this?

Mary February 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm

You bet Uncle Tim does.

Elfego February 6, 2014 at 5:05 pm

There is no real Republican Party in SC! Conservatives need to vote Libertarian because our votes do not count anyway!

Edgar February 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Told you. We are also investigating some of the little pissant House members who got promised big plum committee positions that never would have happened had Toal not needed the votes.

Same ol' Same ol' February 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm

It is just sad that we have to sit here and watch it happen. I know, influence is peddled everywhere, in businesses big and small. It makes you just want to throw up your hands in disgust.

GreenvilleLwyr February 6, 2014 at 3:11 pm

The fact that she works for Haley’s DSS makes her automatically unqualified for the job…

Jay Ellington February 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Tarita Dunbar deserved that position because a couple hundred years ago Katherine Tiffany’s great-great-great-great-great-great grandpa might have owned a slave.

silly February 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Why don’t you just grow a pair and say you don’t like blacks?

Jay Ellington February 6, 2014 at 3:08 pm

What don’t you have a bowl of STFU, you don’t know a thing about me.

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 3:24 pm

[head on hands, elbows on table, listening intently] please go on!

Jay Ellington February 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Interesting that you can hear me through a website, you may want to adjust your medication.

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 3:42 pm

My medication is on 10 already… if I adjust it any higher, I’ll be able to tell what you’re *thinking*!

Jay Ellington February 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm

What, you mean your statistical existence volume knob doesn’t go to 11?

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 3:58 pm

There’s a natural limit. I’ve culled out all the slow brain cells with toxins, and I’m running at maximum efficiency. To quote the great Allen Iverson, “if you’re not practicing, someone else is getting better!” That someone is me.

I spent a weekend trying to eliminate the gaps in reality caused by the packet capture/release phenomena of the electron cloud (Planck’s constant), to make reality continuous, and thereby increase the amount of energy available to process information, but I got stuck in some kind of infinite regression and almost didn’t make it back.

I decided to take up chess instead.

silly February 7, 2014 at 8:56 am

Let me guess, you admire Allen West? Whatever dude, you reconcile it however you want, but anybody with marginal brain power recognizes what you are.

Jay Ellington February 7, 2014 at 9:03 am

Typical of someone with diminished intellectual stock to resort to name calling.

Jay Ellington February 7, 2014 at 11:44 am

I’m more of a Thomas Sowell kinda guy.

Tom February 7, 2014 at 9:49 am

It doesn’t take a lot of information to recognize a racist. Usually that is apparent about 10 minutes after they open their mouth or start typing on a site like this.

Jay Ellington February 7, 2014 at 9:55 am

You must have a PhD in judging people based on tongue in cheek comments.

Jay Ellington February 7, 2014 at 10:05 am

rac·ist ?r?sist/
1.a person who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

This is the farthest thing from my set of beliefs.

I'm a lunatic! February 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm

lol….ole Tom found another racist!


You git em’ Tom, dem raciss are everywhere!

Lewis February 6, 2014 at 3:02 pm

When Vince Ford, RCSD1, hired a completely incompetent Black woman over an imminently qualified white candidate, he in so many words explained it was good for the Black community to have one of those big salaries matriculated into the Black community.

Mr. Friendly February 6, 2014 at 3:04 pm

It’s like a small time version of the community reinvestment act, no?

Except instead of housing, maybe it goes to support local drug dealers?

nitrat February 6, 2014 at 6:12 pm

The shame is that there are scads of decent, competent, exemplary black professional people. But, it seems like the ones with the most ambition are also the most mediocre. That seems to hold for whites, too.

nauseated February 7, 2014 at 2:20 am

Can we not just focus on the fact that she’s completely unqualified without getting all racist?

Jay Ellington February 7, 2014 at 8:47 am

Maybe you should preach that to the Black Caucus.

Reality need not apply February 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

““And they slaughtered her to appease the race Gods and get their corrupt chief justice elected.”

Now, now, let’s not get too indignant. All one has to do is walk around various Columbia government agencies to see that the race Gods have been well fed.

Vick February 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm

You’re really hard for this story, huh?

Reality need not apply February 6, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Are you asking if I’d bone Ms. Tiffany?

Vick February 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

I already know the answer. ;) You do seem a bit up right now…It’s okay to take you time and just write the essay.

Jay Ellington February 6, 2014 at 2:27 pm

You mean like the Richland County Voting Commission?

Gamecock February 6, 2014 at 2:14 pm

Bannister was not a supporter of Toal as he voted for Pleicones.

Drexl Spivey February 6, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Go check your facts, Bannister didn’t vote

Will Folks aka Sic February 6, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I never said he voted. My sources have alleged he helped orchestrate the tradeoff. I know very well where Bannister was at the time of the vote.

GreenvilleLwyr February 6, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Which is where?

nauseated February 7, 2014 at 2:16 am

His absence was a deliberate vote for Toal.

GreenvilleLwyr February 6, 2014 at 3:09 pm

Multiple media outlets identified him as a Toal supporter prior to the vote. However, he didn’t end up voting. He wasn’t even present.

nauseated February 7, 2014 at 2:14 am

They explained during the polling that a a no-show counted as a vote for the incumbent.

amazing February 6, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Gamecok, you figured who Bannister voted for, bravo, it didnt show up ANYWHERE ELSE or even get recorded…..

Lester February 6, 2014 at 2:32 pm

I”m still waiting for a count on this: “legislators (most of whom are attorneys)”.

CarolinaGirl February 6, 2014 at 3:30 pm

No, most of them are not attorneys. I just did a head count. Out of 170 legislators, only 43 of them are attorneys. That breaks down to 16 out of 46 Senators, and 27 out of 124 Representatives.

Fits Aint No Republican February 6, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Fits inaccurate?

Gee imagine that!

Anonymous lawyer February 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Of course, The Feds need to step in again to clean up this legislature. They have had the goods on Jean Toal and this type illegal behavior since Reggie Lloyd was the U.S. Attorney and have done nothing about it. That is probably the reason Toal was so indifferent and just upfront about buying votes this time. Now that her family friend – Alex ‘Sanders’ ex-son-in-law is the U.S. Attorney, nothing will happen now.

Anybody know what Senators Alexander, Bennett, Larry Grooms and Wes Hayes got for voting for Toal? Those four smell to me. Wes Hayes is a Democrat at heart, we all knew that, but we thought he was honest at heart. We knew Toal owns Brad Hutto because of his ODC problems – ethical issues. Anyone else would have had at the very least public reprimands for the crap he has done.

nauseated February 7, 2014 at 2:11 am

Would love to know what Hayes thinks he’s getting, or what he was threatened with. Completely disgusted by him.

Frank February 7, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Hayes is smugly not answering any questions about his corrupt vote. I am through with him also. Fess up, Wes? What did you get for you vote? How does it feel to be a whore? It will come out before the next – and last – election.

Dice Man February 6, 2014 at 3:00 pm

OK, that explains the black vote. What about the vote of the Senates most courageous, conservative, and constipated carpet bagger???

Uh huh February 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Well, Tom Rice has a cordial relationship with Will, so we are just gonna pretend you didn’t type that.

Uh huh February 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I meant “Davis”, not “Rice”.

Will Folks aka Sic February 6, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Not gonna speak for Davis but it isn’t like there was much in the way of a choice here.

Uh huh February 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Even if we run with this notion that there wasn’t a “good” way to vote, why not abstain?

Dice Man February 6, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Sorry, Will, either Mean Jean is corrupt or she’s not. “None of the Above” was the proper choice.

Todd February 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm

You’re wrong here Will. Toal has been proven to be corrupt and dishonest proof positive. Repeatedly. Pleicones has never had a hint of unethical scandal attached to him. That is a BIG difference.

Concerned February 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Significantly, I have not read or heard even one allegation that Pleicones is corrupt. He must have a good reputation. On the other hand, there are numerous complaints about Toal’s ethics. She has a bad reputation among many. We need a Chief Justice whose ethics is not being questioned. Pleicones was that choice.

nauseated February 7, 2014 at 2:06 am

really, Will? you STILL see it as a complete toss-up, even after comparing how each campaign was conducted?

Why?? February 8, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Then why try to make a half-ass excuse for him?

Spanish Wells February 6, 2014 at 3:04 pm

We are waiting on Senator Tom Davis’ editorial explaining his vote down here on HHI also.

CorruptionInColumbia February 6, 2014 at 3:10 pm

What bothers me worse than the Black Caucus voting for Toal, is MY Senator (Katrina Shealy) and MY Representative (Rick Quinn) voting for her. I would like to know the back story on these two happenings, which I find disturbing at best.

South Congaree February 6, 2014 at 3:31 pm

So did the other Lexington County Senator – Nikki Setzler. Something funny here also.

CarolinaGirl February 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm

I do NOT give him a pass on this vote, unless he can give us a dang good reason why. At this point, and since he is a seasoned Senator, I’m not sure that his reasoning would be accepted by me. Unless he has some dirt on Pleicones, that’s worse than Toal’s no less, I do not give him a pass on this vote.

nauseated February 7, 2014 at 2:01 am

dirt worse than Toal’s? hard to even fathom . . .

dry heaves February 7, 2014 at 8:11 am

Agreed — if there was any dirt that had a shred of credibility surely it would’ve been exposed by now, and I haven’t heard a thing. Oh, and nice name, Nauseated. Always good to have a barf-buddy when talking politics. ;-)

HotTangyVomit February 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Do you guys mind if I hang out with you for a while? I used to be on WLTX but the snotty bastards kept deleting my account. I live on the streets in 5 Points and go to the Richland County Library on Assembly Street to post.

Cool names by the way.

CarolinaGirl February 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm

She said on her Facebook page that she was only going to explain her vote once and not talk about it again. Check out her Facebook page and see what she said. I’m not happy with her vote, but I do respect her decision. While she is on her toes with everything she has done, she IS new to the legislative world. I’ll give her a pass on this vote.

CorruptionInColumbia February 7, 2014 at 4:18 am

Hi CarolinaGirl! I don’t do Facebook, therefore am likely excluded from this. Can you give me a synopsis of her reasoning?

Thank you!

Questions But No Answers February 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Whats sort of odd about this is why “buy” the Black caucus off?

Jean Toal has always been tight with Black Democrats going back to her legislative days.Who would find it “odd” that most of them would support her against the relatively non political Pleicones?

Why would Republicans be even interested in “cutting a deal” to put a Black Democrat on the Family Court in Greenville of all places?

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Hey… Republicans putting a Black Democrat on the Family Court? [counting fingers and toes].. am I awake?

This is… more than just strange – it’s Tango strange!

historybuff February 6, 2014 at 4:20 pm

I thought one had to be able to read to be a judge.

euwe max February 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm

yes.. yes.. and?

CorruptionInColumbia February 7, 2014 at 4:36 am

Isn’t that what the secretaries and court reporters are for?


Deo Vindice SC February 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm

We’re in South Carolina !

nauseated February 7, 2014 at 1:55 am

umm . . . to get Toal reelected. They all knew she couldn’t get enough votes without buying them. Fear tactics and intimidation weren’t working on everyone.

Fed up Republican February 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm

I was told the exact same story by my House member! According to him, this deal was cut over the “Snow Break”. He told me this last Friday, 5 days before the vote was taken!!
He’s also the one who told me about about Haley’s and Folk’s affair back in 2007!

35TWW February 6, 2014 at 4:18 pm

The other story going around is that to solidify her support with the Black Caucus Toal agreed to throw her folks’ support behind Beattie (and over Pleicones) for CJ when she retires. This is the luminary who famously slandered every prosecutor in the state in recent remarks to a bar group.

Insider February 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm

AND the other story going around is that Toal has also promised to support Kaye Hearn over Beattie because she knows Beattie can’t get elected now anyway. Hearn has agreed to keep some of the bodies buried.

Kicker February 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Poor dumb ass Kittridge. Nobody ever takes him seriously. He’s just their do-boy.

WillyE February 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm

let’s not overlook the fact that one of the family court candidates has a background in family law while the other does not, and one candidate took 3 attempts to pass the SC bar… i’ll let yall guess which one it is.

Smirks February 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Sure would be nice to just eject the entire legislature. I’m sure one, maybe two, are decent folk, but they can take one for the team.

shifty henry February 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Only one letter is the difference between ELECT and EJECT..!!

nauseated February 7, 2014 at 1:21 am

74 decent folk, by my count. But yeah, let’s put the entire Toal/Dunbar Coalition on a desert island with a webcam and watch them cannibalize themselves. Should only take about sixty seconds or so.

jimlewisowb February 6, 2014 at 5:14 pm

Took three times to pass the bar exams, little to none courtroom experience. What more could lawyers ask for. Judge Dumbdumb’s decisions will keep attorney fees rolling in with appeal hearing after appeal hearing

Fucking Cockroaches

shifty henry February 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm

That is probably the plan. They need those numerous CSOL graduates to be working somewhere.

CharlesDikkens February 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm

Sounds like sour grapes – Toal had the black votes sewed up anyway. What is more interesting are the few honorable D’s who cast votes for Pleicones.

dry heaves February 7, 2014 at 8:00 am

i was there during the vote and it could not have been more obvious that a deal had been struck. Nobody even bothered to try to hide it — in fact, everyone who participated in the illegal vote-trade seemed to delight in flaunting it (I guess it’s fun to think you can break the law with impunity).

Anonymous February 7, 2014 at 5:20 pm

The Black Caucus vote scam was the big one. It’s the little ones that are creeping out now. More and more will come out in the coming week or so as Prince Bobby, Queen Jean’s bitch, starts shifting those committee assignments around.

Constantine February 6, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Please still explain how appointment produces better judges. The federal model is even more broken

Eagle Scout February 6, 2014 at 6:02 pm grades on “State of South Carolina”











Doris February 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Are we waiting on SLED to investigate Toal and Harrell or Solicitor Johnson? Neither one of these options are going to happen.

Does anyone have Bill Nettles’ phone number? Oh. Never mind. Alex Sanders is on line 3.

nitrat February 6, 2014 at 6:17 pm

With Bill nettles, we may as well have Reggie Lloyd.
What job does Nettles want when his time is up?

Junior February 6, 2014 at 9:43 pm

He wanted to be a Federal Judge, but it’s not going to happen. He’s got some skeletons he just can’t bury deep enough even with Toal’s help – which he had.

nitrat February 6, 2014 at 6:03 pm

DSS attorneys are among the sorriest and laziest in the state and have caused DSS to be sued in state and federal court many times at great cost to the taxpayers.

DSS EXPOSED February 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm

They may be sorry but lazy they are NOT….they know exactly how to extract the Federal Title IV-E funding from Social Security. This is why SS is going broke….they are stealing from our social Security piggy bank!!!

shifty henry February 7, 2014 at 11:05 am

Is our Social Security still being used in SC to teach folks how to iron their clothes?

nitrat February 6, 2014 at 6:15 pm

I still want to know WHY the Black Caucus voted with the Tea Party and against Amazon’s tax break the first time around, then switched for the do-over…just to show they had power as a bloc?

Dolph February 6, 2014 at 6:49 pm

The New York Times
Hedge Funds | Legal/Regulatory

February 6, 2014, 2:19 pm

Former SAC Trader Found Guilty of Insider Trading


“The 39-year-old former trader, who is married and has three young
children, is expected to face a prison sentence of seven to 10 years.”


This is where legislators and Judge Toal belong — jail.

DSS EXPOSED February 6, 2014 at 9:08 pm

NO attorney from SCDSS should EVER be elected as a judge. They will “rubber-stamp” every single affidavit that comes into Family Court from Social workers. My biggest problem with the way this “system” is set up is this….”YOU CAN’T CROSS-EXAMINE AN AFFIDAVIT” this must be done away with and time allowed on the docket for actual testimony and this will at least hinder the corruption that is going on in Family Court. As it stands now, DSS only schedules 15 minutes of Docket time in child removal cases. Our children deserve more time than that before some who ha who doesn’t even know the facts or the family decides to remove a child and subject him or her to unwarranted separation anxiety and government intrusion. Ronald Reagan once said, “the most feared words you can hear are “I’m from the Government and I’m here to help”.

shifty henry February 7, 2014 at 11:01 am

hmmmm – you appear to know what you’re talking about — keep us posted on this…

DSS EXPOSED February 8, 2014 at 10:00 am

It’s very simple, DSS Social workers make up things about parents and twist what parents say to fit the social workers narrative as to why a child should be removed. This is put in a SIGNED affidavit which means they are under oath by signing it, yet they never appear in court to actually testify at a merits hearing because DSS conveniently schedules the hearing for only 15 minutes. If you are lucky enough to have an attorney, he or she will request to actually have the merits hearing as usually when you show up with an attorney, DSS will want to “have a continuance” on the matter, thus prolonging your child’s placement in foster care. You may ask “why do they do this?”. The answer…..the longer your child in in foster care, the more Title IV-E money the state will receive in reimbursement from the Social Security Division of the Federal Government. THIS is why Social Security is broke!!!

shifty henry February 8, 2014 at 6:37 pm

How can families and their attorneys allow this kind of immoral activity continue? With those facts then DSS is running and extortion racket. Who can correct this ugly situation – and how?

truth February 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Fits, please stay on this story. You are on the right track for the most part. You need to focus in more on Jenny Horne and a low country judge that she was hanging with the night before the election. They orchestrated the deal with Bobby’s approval. PLEASE KEEP INVESTIGATING.

Dan on Divine February 6, 2014 at 9:47 pm

I agree, truth. You people need to be recording what we are hearing on Divine Street tonight. If the Feds let Toal and Harrell get away with fiasco and fake election, then there is no justice….. Well, we knew that. and ps. And we know Jean left the office early today and we know where she went.

Dan on Divine February 6, 2014 at 9:50 pm

One more thing: We think Toal needs to be put out to pasture with her Shandon Mafia buds, Bob Coble, Frannie Heizer, Jim Papadea and EW Cromatie. Courson and James Smith are right behind them. Truth? If you have any money get Byrd and Streeter to investigate, DO NOT wait on SLED or anybody else.

CorruptionInColumbia February 7, 2014 at 4:34 am

Yep! SLED has proven itself to be nothing but a sick joke with regards to investigating public corruption; over, and over, and over, and over………again.

Friend of Tom "The Jerk" Davis February 6, 2014 at 11:55 pm

Tom Davis thinks he’ a member of the LBC….

That he’ll get Twinkies, a Zippo lighter, a Tab, a watermelon, and a box of fried chicken for his Toal vote….

Someone tell the poor guy he’s been misled since childhood.

CarolinaGirl February 7, 2014 at 1:38 am

I respectfully disagree. I refer you to and challenge you to look up his voting record and post your findings. We can all bash our legislators, one by one, but how they vote on important issues to us all is really what counts. We can also spend our time watching their votes on that very website as they happen. Not everything they say is printed in the Senate and House Journals daily. Check it out. If you can come back with statistics (that I have already researched by the way), then maybe I won’t refer to your comment as childish.

Judith February 7, 2014 at 7:34 am

Carolina Girl, there were few, if any, votes more important this session than the election of the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. My research shows Sen Davis voted for Jean Toal.

Sen. Davis chose to vote for a candidate that has a proven record of corruption, unethical if not illegal power plays to further her own agendas, taking illegal actions against attorneys and judges who disagree with her through her abuses of the attorney and judicial discipline systems and now, illegally openly, brazenly and with no regard to the law vote buying. Sen. Davis cannot deny he did not know of Toal’s record on these issues.

What is your point? You make no point with whatever you claim to have researched. The only question now is what was Sen Davis promised? What did he get out of this “deal?”

dry heaves February 7, 2014 at 8:50 am

Oops, at first I didn’t notice your Youtube link (to one of the most hilarious Steve Martin movies of all time) and thought you were touting racist stereotypes about watermelon, etc. . . I was like “a Zippo and a Tab? Now where have I heard that wish list before??”

dry heaves February 7, 2014 at 8:38 am

Wanted to make sure everyone saw the below comment that someone else posted on another page (had to re-create some of the hyperlinks — hopefully I did it right). Maybe you lawyers out there already knew all of this, but I certainly did not. Before reading this I thought the Toal/Dunbar vote trade was just unethical . . . didn’t realize it was flat-out illegal.


Regarding the Toal/Dunbar vote-swap disclosed in earlier comments, SC Code Sec. 2-19-70(D) says: “No member of the General Assembly may trade anything of value, including pledges to vote for legislation or for other candidates, in exchange for another member’s pledge to vote for a candidate for judicial office.” This law and others revamping the judicial selection process were pushed through immediately after Toal’s 1996 reelection as Assoc. Supreme Court Justice, which was also opposed (a “first” for the assoc. justice seat as well). The timing was no coincidence per “South Carolina’s Experiment: Legislative Control of Judicial Merit Selection” (1998), which begins by describing Toal’s contentious 1995-96 race ( The 1998 article later notes:

“The new procedures prohibit trading “pledges to vote for legislation or for other candidates” in exchange for support of a particular judicial candidate.[FN 114] Such vote-swapping and horse-trading was common under the former system and often led to consensus on the election of judicial candidates.[FN 115] Without this vote-trading, legislators may be more inclined to vote along party lines according to the dictates of their legislative leadership.
[FN 114] S.C. Code Ann. § 2-19-70(D) (Law. Co-op. Supp. 1997).
[FN 115] One House member attested that “‘(t)he reality is this body can’t function unless we can form coalitions.”’ Cindi Ross Scoppe, Judicial-Reform Plan Stalls in House: Backers Regroup for Tuesday Effort, The State (Columbia, S.C.), May 24, 1996, at B3 (quoting Rep. Lucille Whipper (D-Charleston)).
Prior to the new Act, certain legislative groups were particularly beholden to trading their votes in exchange for support of certain judicial candidates or legislation. Following the 1995 judicial elections, black lawmakers readily admitted they cut deals to deliver 19 votes to elevate Circuit Court Judge E.C. Burnett, III to the high court and 21 votes to give Family Court Judge Kaye Hearn a seat on the S.C. Court of Appeals. In exchange, the other judges’ supporters returned embattled Circuit Judge Danny Martin, one of three black circuit judges in the state, to the bench.
Greene & Scoppe, supra note 82, at A1. Senator Maggie Glover, then head of the Legislative Black Caucus, praised the group’s deal making “as ‘one of the few days we got all that we asked for.”’ Id. (quoting Sen. Maggie Glover (D-Florence)). Senator Robert Ford put it on a personal level: “I had to sell my soul to 10 devils.”’ Id. (quoting Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston)). However, black lawmakers were not alone in their efforts to trade judicial votes for legislative favors. Then-Representative Tim Rogers told reporters that “lawmakers (of all races) agreed to support particular candidates in exchange for backing pet legislation.” Id. Some legislators attest that this practice can never be stopped, nor do they want to stop swapping. According to Representative Lucille Whipper, “anyone who thinks the (General Assembly) can outlaw vote swapping is ‘running around in a world of fantasy.”’ Scoppe, supra (quoting Rep. Lucille Whipper (D-Charleston)).”

Did yesterday’s horsetraders forget about the 1996 law change, or just know that it would never be enforced against them? SC Code Sec. 2-19-70(E) says: “Violations of this section by members of the General Assembly shall be reported by the [Judicial Merit Selection] commission to the House or Senate Ethics Committee, as may be applicable. . . . A violation of this section is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, the violator must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days. Cases tried under this section may not be transferred from general sessions court pursuant to Section 22-3-545.” As previously noted on this site, committee assignments are controlled by Speaker Bobby Harrell (who is being investigated for various ethical violations: The following voted for both Toal and Dunbar:

— 6 out of 10 House Ethics Committee members (plus Bingham & Pitts who voted for Toal but not Dunbar):
— 6 out of 10 Senate Ethics Committee members (plus Reese & Hayes who voted for Toal but not Dunbar):
— 2 of the 6 legislative members of the Judicial Merit Selection Committee (all 6 legislative JMSC members voted for Toal, including Bannister by default):

Toal/Dunbar vote records:

Judith February 7, 2014 at 2:13 pm

I wanted you to be sure you know (1) Solicitor Dan Johnson is owned lock, stock and barrel by CJ Jean Toal because of Johnson and his ex-wife’s messes with Toal’s corrupt Office of Disciplinary Counsel; (2) SLED couldn’t and wouldn’t find anything wrong with Toal and Harrell if the activity took place in their lobby with 50 agents watching, (3) Alan Wilson really doesn’t have the resources and expertise in his office to do anything about it,not to mention 2/3’s of that office are closet Democrats and (4) the Feds don’t give a damn what we do to each other down here. Judith ps. But there are a lot of House members and senators babbling and lying and shuffling around today due to confrontations of their sell-outs. Com’on folks. Keep calling them and letting them know what you think.

Arlen Cooper February 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm

What is the going price for a black caucus’ vote now a days? I remember when it was a glass of buttermilk with the promise of cornbread at a later date.

Pat Racette February 7, 2014 at 10:51 pm

That’ll teach Tiffany to be smart, hard-working, and honest. What nerve, what arrogance.

upstate February 8, 2014 at 8:54 am

Not only did our Greenville delegation get duped by Bobby Harrell, but now they have to explain to their constituents why they voted for liberal Toal.

Jenkins February 8, 2014 at 9:23 am

Lied to by the corrupt Harrell and Toal. Say it for what it really is. If they fell for the lies, then they may be too stupid to stay in office anyway. My senator saw the light, but our representative may be in the process of being escorted to the door.

Anonymous old Lawyer February 8, 2014 at 10:19 pm

I had to attend a party in Columbia tonight with an obscene number of lawyers. The election – or I should say general consensus is – the stealing of the election – by Jean Toal is still the standing joke. The second general consensus is that nothing will happen about it. SLED is too weak and political. The Feds don’t care. The encouraging issue which seems to be coming out of this debacle of justice is that a number of legislators have put their “secure” seats in jeopardy. Let’s hope so.

Anonymous non-lawyer February 9, 2014 at 7:57 pm

I talked with two lobbyists at church today. Their comments were that they have never seen Legislators so sure there will be vicious consequences for those who voted against Jean in the coming week. It’s that bad. Neither expect much to get done for at least 3 weeks to a month.

Judith February 9, 2014 at 8:42 am

Carolyn Click and Dawn Hinshaw should be fired for writing this fluff piece in The State today., To NOT mention that Toal is corrupt to the core – that she lies, cheats and steals is out right insulting to all of South Carolina.

I also know Inez Tenenbaum. While polite, polished and nice about it, she has little respect for Toal’s character and integrity. She did give Jean’s sister a job at the Dept of Education without going through the normal channels, but Toal bullied her into it.

Crooner February 11, 2014 at 3:31 pm

Should it bother anyone that the white Greenville County delegation wanted to install a white judge?


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