SC

Jonathan Pinson: Guilty

WHO’S NEXT?  Former S.C. State board of trustees chairman Jonathan Pinson was found guilty on twenty-nine of forty-five charges filed against him by federal prosecutors. Pinson – indicted last year for his role in a bribery scam – has now been convicted of using his position of public trust to…

WHO’S NEXT? 

Former S.C. State board of trustees chairman Jonathan Pinson was found guilty on twenty-nine of forty-five charges filed against him by federal prosecutors.

Pinson – indicted last year for his role in a bribery scam – has now been convicted of using his position of public trust to benefit himself financially and politically.  The only question left?  Does he squeal on the powerful politicians reportedly linked to his various dirty dealings.

“I’ll be more powerful than most politicians … I’ll buy the next Congressional seat,” Pinson said on one of the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) wiretaps released during his recent trial.

Oops …

Wiretaps also revealed Pinson discussing his acceptance of a $110,000 Porsche sport utility vehicle in exchange for getting S.C. State to purchase an 80-acre, $3 million “Sportsman’s Retreat” in Orangeburg County, S.C.

The owner of that property – developer Richard Zahn – paid for a night of debauchery in Orlando, Florida in December 2010 for Pinson and Columbia, S.C. mayor Steve Benjamin, who was reportedly the original target of the federal sting.

Benjamin and Pinson were key players in the Village at River’s Edge scandal – a botched housing project that received at least $8 million in federal “stimulus” funds as well as an undisclosed amount of cash from City of Columbia, S.C. taxpayers.

When he was running for mayor in 2010, Benjamin bragged to The (Columbia, S.C.) Free Times that he had “left seven figures on the table” in selling his piece of the action to Pinson for $500,000.

That boondoggle – which went belly-up last year – is reportedly linked to another, more powerful politician.

As for S.C. State, the school recently received a $6 million bailout from South Carolina taxpayers – even though it continues to be mired in controversy surrounding its mismanagement and misappropriation of funds.

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54 comments

Thomas July 3, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Cue Mayor Benjamin’s comments on the trial…5-4-3-2-1-1-1-1-wtf, Mayor? Hello?!!

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Smirks July 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Benjamin likes to carry a lot of ones, huh?

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Tick Tock July 3, 2014 at 1:09 pm

“I’ll be more powerful than most politicians … I’ll buy the next Congressional seat,” Pinson said on one of the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ) wiretaps released during his recent trial.”

How very Machiavellian/Palpatine of him. I suspect it will be more difficult to do that within a cell, but who knows.

Wiretaps eh? I’ll bet ya lots of people are nervous Nellie’s now….you hear that T-Bone?

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Queen Jean July 3, 2014 at 3:44 pm

What’s wrong with buying an election? I got Bobby Harrell to make all sorts of trades with legislators to keep my chief justice position.t I mean, Vinny didn’t take but one phone call to his Uncle Bob. I was surprised Tom Davis and Chip Campsen were so easy. Same thing as payoffs,but keeping it local and me owning Bill Nettles and all, we got away with it.

Stevie. I told you earlier, I will protect you.

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Bible Thumper July 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Machiavellian. I got that from my classical education.
Palpatine? Must be Common Core.

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Mike at the Beach July 3, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Know their classical culture *and* their pop culture one must, young Padawan…

Yoda- 2014

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The Colonel July 3, 2014 at 1:15 pm

And now it begins to really get interesting…
The State was already offering a “hung jury” as an out this morning and here we have a conviction on 2/3rds of the charges for Pinson – Lil’T-Bone Stevie BeenJammin’s sphincter must be tightening up real good.

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FudgePackerAtChocolateMonkey July 3, 2014 at 2:05 pm

I wish I had something like that to make Tango’s sphincter tighten up some. It’s so flaccid and loose, he has meat curtains around it.

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Henry MixMaster Slumlord Hero July 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm

Grapevine said one of the recorded called is Stevie B saying the Feds won’t touch him because he’s the first black mayor of Columbia and Jim Clyburn’s handpicked successor…

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Fat Greg Dulli July 3, 2014 at 1:59 pm

First rule of fight club…

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GrandTango July 3, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Can’t make Steve Benjamin feel too good. Ethics commission to contact Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. Related Story: http://scdigest.blogspot.com/2014/07/did-columbia-mayor-steve-benjamin.html.

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southmauldin July 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm

Congratulations, someone finally commented on your blog. I mean, besides yourself.

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GrandTango July 3, 2014 at 3:38 pm

I just thank you for noticing, even if you are WRONG.

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Henry MixMaster Lt. Slumlord July 3, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Two page hits today, I see.

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Scooter July 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm

don’t let them get to you GT

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Henry MixMaster Lt. Slumlord July 3, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Ain’t it amazing, her blog even makes that POS Palmetto Scoop look good.

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Squishy123 July 3, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Probably just another fake account set up by Ms. Emily.

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ManBango July 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Please don’t humor him it by going there to check. GT is a &^$W@ *!##$&()@ and will always be a &^$W@ *!##$&()@.

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Smirks July 3, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Hopefully the seat he bought ends up being next to Bubba in a federal prison.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein July 3, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Say “Hey” to Rod Blagojevich and Jesse Jackson Jr. for us.

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southmauldin July 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm

And it took the jury this long to figure out that this sleazy bastard was guilty? That’s frightening.

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Halfvast Conspirator July 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm

He dint do nuffin

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TontoBubbaGoldstein July 4, 2014 at 12:08 am

Wha’ ha’ happened was…

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The Secretary July 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm

The next one they take down on this deal will be an Italian and not from around these parts.

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CorruptionInColumbia July 3, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Not the Italian tire manufacturer? The tires that guy makes, da go forward. Da go backwards. When da go flat, da go “wop, wop, wop, …”

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Tess-toss-tyrone July 3, 2014 at 7:50 pm

You spelled dago wrong.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein July 4, 2014 at 12:08 am

“Wassup WOP? How’d your day go?”

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Tess-toss-tyrone July 4, 2014 at 10:30 am

Who you callin wop?

euwe max July 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Hannibal and his men were not Black but Semitic Phoenicians

Same ol' Same ol' July 3, 2014 at 3:17 pm

T bone’s probably eying an international trip right about now. Wonder if they’d stop him at the airport?

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Have A Nice Day July 3, 2014 at 3:22 pm

House Speaker Bobby Harrell and his cronies have been oblivious for over 3 years … Wiretaps, emails, bugging devices, tracking devices? … yeah …. Wait till the federal indictments show up? Coming to a news source near you? Hey U Harrell spies …. Have a NICE DAY.

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Have A Nice Day July 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm

Yeah … this reminds me of the former Governor of Illinois talking …. He ended up in federal prison for a nice long vacation. And what about Tony Rezko?

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Bend Over, James July 3, 2014 at 3:27 pm

James Clyburn is on the list.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein July 3, 2014 at 11:55 pm Reply
CharlesDikkens July 3, 2014 at 4:00 pm

“Da bitch set me up!”

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Soft Sigh from Hell July 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Lordy lordy, please let him be the first of many.

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well-i-am into it July 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

I wonder why Pinson even went to trial facing 45 counts in a federal case. Usually, when federal prosecutors bring forth that many counts, they will bury the defendant….heaping evidence in front of the jury. And the defense argument was pretty lame “he didnt benefit from it”. Really? Really? You go to trial with THAT defense? The attorneys got paid..and all is well if it ends well for the attorneys, I suppose. Should have taken a plea like Ed Givens. Not questioning the verdict…but just questioning the defense strategy.

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Egos > Brains July 3, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Metts didn’t take a deal either, these guys up in the layer cake haven’t eaten shit for so long they think they never will have to again…(citation: Layer Cake movie), it’s pure stupidity based on almost a complete disconnect from reality.

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well-i-am into it July 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm

I agree. Its appears that its not a “pride before fall” thing….its more “I can buy the congress seat” like disconnect from reality.

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Justin Igger July 3, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Who be gunna take mes to Florida to gets my white wymens now?

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euwe max July 3, 2014 at 10:22 pm Reply
Queen Jean July 3, 2014 at 11:04 pm

You low life common people just have no idea. I run the Democratic Party in South Carolina. Barack Obama runs it on the national level. I am protecting Stevie Benjamin and Barry, my friend, is protecting Jim Clyburn. This little situation is over. Now, run along, you little people. BTW, I am laid up drunk at my 5 million dollar beach house paid for by my daddy and I am laughing my old ass off at you silly plebians. Have a nice day. Molly, I love you.

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Get a Better Line Republican July 4, 2014 at 11:01 am

Yeh and if it weren’t for the Republicans in the Legislature,I wouldn’t have been reelected,

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GrandTango July 4, 2014 at 7:29 am

Nothing to see here. Benjamin did nothing illegal. Easy to explain away: Do you buy that?

Great piece (no pun) . Read more: http://scdigest.blogspot.com/

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scamalert July 4, 2014 at 8:11 am

“Using his position of public to benefit himself financially.” Pinson’s a piker compared to one trustee of Spartanburg Regional. Terry Cash sold his nursing home to the system after chairing the board for an overpriced $3.8M. Other board members benefited as well. That’s the board to be on if you want to turn your position into cash.

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Stuck July 5, 2014 at 10:16 am

I work there. This place is nuts. One VP commited multiple sexual assaults. The board rides around the country to pheasant hunts, football games, golf tournaments, in a jet bought from a board member. No one cares about the workers or the patients anymore. We’re all waiting for the public to find out.

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Harold Felter July 4, 2014 at 8:40 am

If I were a reporter, I would camp out by Mayor Benjamin and follow Pinson until he goes to prison. I bet there are deals being cut still to keep this guy quiet. Would be nice to interview the Mayor and ask him “How do you feel about the decision against Pinson?” This is just more evidence of why SC State should be shut down. It is not serving the public or the students well. I would never consider hiring one.

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GrandTango July 4, 2014 at 9:05 am

The media are more than ready to accept Benjamin at his word, he did nothing illegal, and let him ride off into the sunset. He’s likely the most-powerful democrat in the state. He gets a pass on everything…

He’s untouchable: Read more: http://scdigest.blogspot.com/

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Tess-toss-tyrone July 4, 2014 at 10:31 am

Dass cause day don’t hold us folk sponsabull fo nuthin.

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Soft Sigh from Hell July 5, 2014 at 9:50 am

I have met and worked briefly with several SCSU faculty and students and I would happily hire any one of these. They were in science and engineering.

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Lou July 4, 2014 at 10:18 pm

The queens boys are finally getting some push back . Pinson first, your major Benjamin who has “done nothing illegal ” but given you a sample of his true character.
No you know whythe baseball deal had to be rushed….it wouldn’t pass after this trial. He still pulled wool over your eyes on that one!
You guys need to dig about the third boy from queens….daddy had a Greek diner and We used to all him ” panties” up here…

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Queen Jean July 5, 2014 at 9:22 am

Even if Jim Clyburn pocketed all of the missing $52 million at SC State U, does any body really think Obama and Pelosi will let anything happen to Clyburn? I’ve got his back in the state courts. Hahahaha

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GrandTango July 6, 2014 at 11:50 am

Good column: Is all the suspicion over w/ Benjamin: Remember he’s a democrat. Yall usually skate, no matter how guilty. Benjamin swears he done nothing illegal:

2nd story: Read all about it: http://scdigest.blogspot.com/

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dude July 7, 2014 at 9:34 pm

juries, man…. many times are jam-packed with idiots. This time the idiots were outnumbered.

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