SC Judicial Race Goes Nuclear

SPARKS FLY IN RACE FOR S.C. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW POST …  || By FITSNEWS || A race for a top judicial branch post in South Carolina has gone nuclear – with allegations of nepotism slamming one candidate and allegations of laziness assailing the other. Making the race even more interesting?  The incumbent…


|| By FITSNEWS || A race for a top judicial branch post in South Carolina has gone nuclear – with allegations of nepotism slamming one candidate and allegations of laziness assailing the other.

Making the race even more interesting?  The incumbent – veteran administrative law judge Carolyn C. Matthews – is reportedly threatening to sue a member of the S.C. General Assembly for spreading false information about her record.

Just another day at “taxpayer-funded adult day care,” right?  Exactly …

Matthews – a 16-year veteran of the state’s administrative law court – is facing a stern challenge from Bill Funderburk, whose wife Laurie Slade Funderburk is one of the lawmakers who will get to vote on his candidacy next week.  We’ve previously stated we don’t think it’s appropriate for legislators to appoint their relatives to government posts.  We’ve also humbly suggested the “ethics reform” lawmakers seem so keen on touting these days had better include “draconian restrictions” on such behavior.

But the drama surrounding this race goes deeper than that …

Matthews has been accused by S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts of being lazy.  In addition to telling his colleagues that Matthews “spends all day every day at the spa,” Pitts has disseminated written information to his colleagues suggesting the judge issued an extremely limited number of rulings in 2014.

What’s his interest in the election?

We’re not sure … but in addition to his efforts in this election, Pitts helped push a bill into law last year that would provide special taxpayer-funded retirement benefits to Funderburk in the event he wins the race.

How “Republican” of him, right?

This week Matthews’ allies in the legislature – including several of Funderburk’s Democratic colleagues – are fighting back.

In a letter to her colleagues, S.C. Rep. Beth Bernstein – a supporter of Matthews’ reelection – took issue with Pitts’ allegations.  In fact she pretty much called him a liar.

“Information that was presented last week representing Judge Carolyn C. Matthew’s work ethic is false,” Bernstein wrote. “Judge Matthews has led the Administrative Law Court in three of the last four years in final orders issued. The quantity and speed of her decisions continues to lead the court.”

Attached to Bernstein’s letter were printouts of administrative law court rulings from 2011-14 which showed Matthews issuing the most rulings of any of her colleagues in 2011, 2012 and 2014 (.pdf HERE).

Meanwhile Matthews’ staunchest supporter – her husband John McAllister – fired off a letter to S.C. Speaker of the House Jay Lucas urging him to “encourage Representative Laurie Funderburk to encourage her husband Bill Funderburk to immediately withdraw” from the race (.pdf file HERE).

McAllister also urged Lucas to remove Funderburk from the notoriously corrupt House ethics committee – which frankly should have been disbanded and replaced with an independent oversight authority years ago.

So … who do we think should win this race?  Eh … we honestly don’t care all that much.

We do, however, believe that continuing to allow lawmakers to appoint their relatives to powerful positions continues a terrible (and costly) precedent.  We’d also reiterate that lawmakers have absolutely no business electing judges in this state given the rampant corruption inherent in the process.

UPDATE: Sources close to Matthews say she never threatened Pitts with a lawsuit, although they acknowledge she did tell him “what you are saying is not true and is perilously close to slander.”


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Who cares? January 29, 2015 at 9:18 am

You can always tell a highly progressive couple when the wife doesn’t take the last name of her husband in any way, shape, or form. (like hyphenated)

mamatiger92 January 29, 2015 at 9:25 am

Grand Tango-Coscoe

Who cares? January 29, 2015 at 10:10 am

That’s funny as hell!

guest January 29, 2015 at 10:38 am

Will liked it.I see you can’t discuss ANY issue or topic. :-)

Mazel January 29, 2015 at 3:40 pm

He obviously didn’t care too much since marrying her came with a job offer from her Daddy at his law firm.

Who cares? January 29, 2015 at 5:12 pm

A dowry. Being kept isn’t such a bad deal under the right circumstances I suppose if one has no pride.

SCYankee99! January 29, 2015 at 9:32 am

Every day at the spa is not lazy..your body is a temple…take care of it and it will take care of you! Plus that whole law thing gets pretty darn stressful

Lenny Musso January 29, 2015 at 9:45 am

Nepotism and other favoritism should be encouraged in my opinion. The fact of the matter is that there is a very limited pool of intelligent and wealthy people to draw from for these very important positions. Yeah, it’s about “who you know and not what you know.” So what? People need to realize that the vast majority of people are incapable of ruling and shouldn’t be in the position to do so just because they’re “good people.” We need savvy, connected people who know other important people to give these important jobs to. As for the alternative, well, the road to hell is paved with the skulls of “good people.”

Nevermore January 29, 2015 at 10:09 am

Carolyn Matthews is a beard for Johnny McAllister, but that’s another story. What’s relevant here is that she is the laziest diva in the judiciary, which is saying a lot. Bernstein and Matthews are dedicated members of the SC Women Lawyers Association, which is dedicated to promoting attorneys with two X sex chromosomes regardless of other qualities. Funderburk might be a failed bookstore owner, but he is an experienced administrative attorney who lost his job be cause of a very poor move by one of the many people who have failed as DEW director.

Bible Thumper January 29, 2015 at 10:09 am

The more time Carolyn C. Matthews spends a the spa, the less damage she can cause.

jimlewisowb January 29, 2015 at 10:10 am

In an earlier post I was going to remove Cockroaches from the list of animals who eat their own

It seems that I was suffering from premature elimination and now I am happy to learn that the Fucking Cockroaches are still eating their fellow Fucking Cockroaches

My money is on Cockroach Benrstein – Cockroach Pitts will be down to 5 knees by 5PM

Lorne Greene January 29, 2015 at 10:13 am

The interesting thing about Cockroach’s is that they can both fuck and eat each other at the same time.

Bible Thumper January 29, 2015 at 10:16 am

I’ve been told that’s called the 69 position.

Lorne Greene January 29, 2015 at 10:18 am

You’ve been told? Let me guess, by a “friend”?


Bible Thumper January 29, 2015 at 10:18 am

I’ve had a few offers.

poop January 29, 2015 at 10:26 am

so, it looks like the whole kinsley wentzky verdict got burried. The slut was banging her students…………………………………………….

HD January 29, 2015 at 10:44 am

The Administrative Law Court is a creature of the Executive branch. It’s not a “real” court and isn’t part of the Judicial Department. They are more accurately called hearing officers.

FU D bag January 29, 2015 at 1:43 pm

Not even a “real” court, eh? Are you so fucking stupid that you think every “real” court in this country looks like the ones on Law and Order or Ally McBeal? Massive, beautiful, expensive courthouses like the federal courthouse in Columbia are the exception rather than the rule. Most courtrooms and courthouses are dumps. Whether the ALJ lives up to your standard or not, it is a court. But I hope you feel better about your lot in life now that you have placed yourself on a pedestal above those lowly “hearing officers.”

You gonna cry? January 29, 2015 at 2:26 pm

You can always tell when the truth cuts a little to close to home.

HD January 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Sorry if I offended you “Judge.” The ALJ’s perform a necessary function of state government, regardless of what they’re called. PS – having practiced in roughly half of the courthouses in SC, I have to disagree with your characterization of them. Many of them are old, yes, but full of character and beauty.

west_rhino January 29, 2015 at 11:32 am

So is 16 years in the system part of the problem or part of the solution?

Term Limits January 29, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Same could be said for every member of the GA that has been in office more than a term or so.

BillBrasky January 29, 2015 at 12:51 pm

So Mike Pitts, who is not an attorney, is accusing Matthews of being lazy; but Bernstein, an attorney who likely appears before Matthews says that’s not true. What the hell do you expect Bernstein to say? That a judge that she appears before is lazy and needs to go? Right. Bernstein isn’t going to throw her Daddy’s law practice in jeopardy by going against a sitting judge that will most likely be re-appointed by the general assembly.

Hazard January 29, 2015 at 6:09 pm

Can we please identify the distinction between appointments and elections? They are very different.

Judicial Watch Cometh January 29, 2015 at 6:58 pm

Dedra Jefferson and Thomas Hughston need to be removed from the bench. The shit is all piled up against them, ready to unload.

Clem January 30, 2015 at 2:16 am

The house is conflicted by this, and therefore Funderburk should set aside. Pitts is just a good old boy protecting a friend. The representatives were elected, first and foremost, to be in the house…not get jobs for husbands and friends.

old RC lawyer January 30, 2015 at 7:16 am

Matthews is a Toalite from way back. Queen Jean has made a few calls this week. It is interesting to see if the payouts Toal made through Harrell are still good with some of the legislators. Thank you Bill Nettles for keeping the Feds off of Jean and selling out Harrell. As Sic would say, “Sheesh.”


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