Memo: S.C. State Boondoggle Broke The Law

HUGH LEATHERMAN’S HIGHER EDUCATION “SLUSH FUND” SLAMMED || By FITSNEWS ||  Last month this website wrote a pair of articles discussing the latest taxpayer-subsidized bailout of S.C. State University – championed by S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman.  In case you missed those stories, click HERE and HERE. The long and…


|| By FITSNEWS ||  Last month this website wrote a pair of articles discussing the latest taxpayer-subsidized bailout of S.C. State University – championed by S.C. Senate president Hugh Leatherman.  In case you missed those stories, click HERE and HERE.

The long and short of it?  Taxpayers were deprived of $12 million as part of a so-called “loan” to the chronically corrupt, massively mismanaged institution of “higher learning.”

Of course this $12 million isn’t a loan.  In a rare moment of honesty, S.C. Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter told The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper as much at the time – admitting that “more loans would set up the school for failure” due to the fact “S.C. State cannot repay them.”

Exactly …

We’ve been on top of S.C. State for years – exposing its prior boondoggles, shady administrative expenses and questionable bureaucratic hires.

Bottom line?  The place is a cesspool … and a sinkhole.

Anyway, our most recent story noted that the $12 million“off-budget” bailout for S.C. State – approved by a so-called “blue ribbon” advisory panel – wasn’t exactly on the “up and up.”  Specifically, we wrote that the expenditure “was never subjected to the scrutiny of the budget process … and was never voted on by the people’s elected representatives.”

The worst part?  The money for the bailout came from a surplus fund – meaning it should have automatically been rebated to taxpayers months ago (unfortunately such rebates have been repeatedly shot down by liberal “Republicans” in the S.C. General Assembly).

Supporting our contention is an internal S.C. Budget and Control Board “draft memo” obtained by FITSNews.  The document – provided to us by a staffer at the agency – concluded the S.C. State bailout (and Leatherman’s dubious advisory panel) was “a textbook example of the unlawful delegation of legislative authority, the illegal appropriation of public funds, and the resulting abuse of unbridled power.”

Whoa …

It also confirms the budget proviso authorizing Leatherman’s “blue ribbon” advisory panel – which in turn authorized the “loan” – contained absolutely no requirement for S.C. State to pay the money back.

“While the Proviso mentions the possibility of the budgetary plan including a recommendation of a loan, there is no requirement in the Proviso that S.C. State repay any funds it receives,” the memo stated.  “Missing from the proviso … (is) any language mentioning a note or indicating S.C. State is required to, or even intends to, repay the State and its taxpayers the $12 million.”

As we noted in our story, such backdoor appropriations are exceedingly dangerous because they remove public oversight from the spending process – resulting in expenditures that would have never been approved in the light of day.

“The legislative process was entirely circumvented as the appropriation of the funds was never brought to a vote before the entire Legislature,” the memo stated. “Perhaps this is what was intended all along as it is widely acknowledged that the $12 million appropriation, if properly brought to a vote before the entire General Assembly, would never have been approved.”

Exactly …

Ironically, when S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis questioned the specific structure of the “loan,” Leatherman snapped at him saying “the General Assembly can do as it pleases.”

That’s just the thing, though … this bailout is Hugh Leatherman doing as he  pleases, not an expression of the legislature’s will.

Now … will anyone in the legislature call Leatherman out for it?

Doubtful … he’s simply too powerful. Which is why he can flush this $12 million of your money down the toilet without anyone lifting a finger against him.

To read the draft memo for yourself, click the link below …



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Roscoe P. Coltran January 7, 2015 at 9:31 am

Gilda gets her kick backs like Clyburn!

Nothing new January 7, 2015 at 9:51 am

This is typical of the way the Legislature has acted for years. Appropriated monies have been loaned from one agency to another, by the Budget and Control, with the promise of payback. When time came for payback, the Legislature under Leatherman, Peeler, Harrell, Cooper forgave the loans. They were never repaid and the agencies with legitimate and necessary functions were left in a financial lurch.
Just another way to share the “pork” .

Old Dude January 7, 2015 at 9:58 am

Illegal? Not if I say it ain’t!
Such arrogance is astounding.

The Colonel January 7, 2015 at 10:07 am

The real question here isn’t whether this was legal or not, it clearly isn’t. The real question is what is a carpet bagging (He’s a native North Carolinian) old peckerwood (some might say peckerhead) like Leatherman getting out of this – where’s the quid pro quo?

Is Leatheman simply pandering for black votes? Unlikely since he received 99% of the votes in his last election and hasn’t had a real opponent since he was first elected. He’s on the board of advisers for Clemson and has no connection to SCSU – maybe he wants to be the next president.

Ask the question: What’s in it for Hugh? The answer will probably prove to be very interesting.

nitrat January 7, 2015 at 10:16 am

See my question above. It just may be as simple as that. Or, maybe, he thinks they would end up in the dorms at Francis Marion in Florence.

The Colonel January 7, 2015 at 4:51 pm

Why would he give a rat about FMU he barely spends any time in Florence?

Even if every kid at SCSU stayed in South Carolina, we’re only talking about 2,800 kids of which only 80% are from South Carolina and most of whom couldn’t get in to USC, Clemson or CCU. Many would struggle to gain admittance to FMU.

FastEddy23 January 7, 2015 at 10:46 am

Oh contraire’ … It most definitely is a crime. This can also be prosecuted under RICO statutes = collusion to commit a felonious theft by all involved = follow the money = who made out, who passed the bags of swag around …

(Taxifornia has the similar problems. Local educrat “borrows” from university slush funds to finance real estate deals. When exposed, lame, wired-in prosecutors slap wrists, finds outside benefactors to pony-up and pay back, but nothing changes. Many of these educrats just keep doing it, with hindsight, by passing the vigorish around instead of trying to keep all of the spoils for themselves.)

the colonel January 7, 2015 at 10:50 am

Oops. yes it clearly is a crime sorry about that.

Rocky January 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm

It won’t matter. He’s a member of the Ruling Elite. He can do whatever he wants and there’s not a damned thing you or I can do about it. The money brokers in their First Baptist Churches across the midlands and upstate will continue to funnel him the money he needs to get re-elected every year. It’s amazing. These guys are all under investigation by the FBI – but they continue to run things like they own the entire store. Know why? Because they do. No one in this state will do anything, ever, to bring them into check. FITS can try, but it will fail because the same good ole’ boys will stay in power. And they won’t ever leave. They allow their kids to beat pregnant women, they give each other $100 ties, thousands of dollars. They are a self-supporting regime. The only difference between the SCGOP ruling class and Putin and the oligarchy is that Putin and oligarchs speak Russian. Honestly Colonel – I think this entire state is becoming a lost cause. I’m looking at St. Johns County, Florida. No income tax, nice beaches, low poverty, great schools.

Cash January 7, 2015 at 10:09 am

$20 million buck would go along way towards a worthwhile program. Throwing good money after bad is a losing proposition.
If it is in fact illegal, who steps in? The attorney general?

FastEddy23 January 7, 2015 at 12:22 pm

The trouble with trying to apply that $20 Million to a “worth while” project is that a Central Planning agency would be allowed to toy with it …

The very and absolute best solution is to return the $20 Million to the Citizens in the form of a tax refund … or even better, a permanent tax cut.

nitrat January 7, 2015 at 10:12 am

Come on, fella. You know you would rather keep SC State’s doors open and its students out of dorms at USC, Clemson, etc., right?

Squishy123 January 7, 2015 at 11:02 am

Only if they meet the admission standards, which are a lot higher than at SCSU. Maybe Benedict College and Allen University dorms.

certain black students January 8, 2015 at 8:37 am

Except for the ones on the football and basketball teams. They love those.

FastEddy23 January 7, 2015 at 10:36 am

Demonstration of Fiduciary Irresponsibility is a crime. All it takes is a prosecutor who has taken high school math … and does not sympathize with criminal greed. Got any?

Point of order January 7, 2015 at 10:42 am

I sued a partner for Breach of Fiduciary duty once. It’s no joke.

That being said, remember that these are members of a protected class. They rarely get successfully prosecuted for malfeasance. Many times when they do, similar to cops, the taxpayers end up footing the bill for the “mistakes”…so from a taxpayer perspective it’s like punching yourself in the face.

FastEddy23 January 7, 2015 at 12:19 pm

One thing about the internet and the flood of exposure (here and elsewhere, fur sure) … The “protected class” can run, but they can no longer hide.

Got vigilance committees?

Fred January 7, 2015 at 11:07 am

Working with large amounts of tax dollars in SC seems to come with a warrant of immunity from all litigation, hassle, punishment or imprisonment. A virtual get out of jail free card must come with the job offer.

Harris January 7, 2015 at 11:21 am

Leatherman gets off on the public use of real political power. He is probably printing this article as proof of how the powerful get what they want, when they want, and with other people’s money.

Poet Tryon January 7, 2015 at 3:57 pm

The little Digger’s little Digger
gets bigger and bigger cause for 12 mil he owns the &@ggers,
long as the Little Digger
can flush your tax dollars he figures
it will be 25% for me
and none to thee!

Flip Costco January 7, 2015 at 12:42 pm

You idiots. If we don’t prop up the black school, they’ll go to the white schools.

The Colonel January 7, 2015 at 6:43 pm

There are already more black students at USC than at SCSU.

Part Timer January 7, 2015 at 3:38 pm

I heard, directly from a Senate Finance staffer, that there was no way in hell those black kids were going to Florence because we have too many of them already!

Soft Sigh from Hell January 7, 2015 at 5:29 pm

Plenty of effort to bail SCSU (of which I am not particularly opposed) but NO apparent effort at all to fix it! And I don’t just mean–or even mainly mean–fiscally. Gilda Cobb-Hunter says she wants our black students and young fellow citizens trained in modern technology fields. Well strutting education bureaucrats can’t deliver on that. How about appointing some persons of real experience and performance that can?

Are You A Whimp? January 7, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Leatherman can be made ‘unpowerful.’ ….. Target him and make his corrupt and lawless life a living hell. Lets form mobs and go to his house in Florence to protest outside of it.

He Dyes His Hair Like Glenn January 7, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Are his shirts custom made with the bubble in them? In the photo, he looks like he is expecting a baby.

Sills January 8, 2015 at 6:56 am

The bubble is where he keeps his “walking around” money. Actually, your tax dollars, but his walking around money.

Parks January 7, 2015 at 8:05 pm

Does State already have the money?

Queen Jean January 8, 2015 at 9:56 am

My great friend, Hugh, has not broken the law. I personally decide what the law is and who has broken it. Hugh supports me on my unquenchable thirst for more and more political power and therefore, he has done nothing wrong and broken no law.

Paul January 9, 2015 at 8:04 am

Hell, lets give them $50 million and tell them not to bother us again till it runs out-in 5 years. Then Hugh Leatherman can send them more. Why not, what else doe he have to do with our money?


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