S.C. Lawmaker Sued

|| By FITSNEWS || One of South Carolina’s top budget writers has been sued by a former business partner who has his own history of legal issues. According to the lawsuit – filed by Phillip DeClemente in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas last month – S.C. Rep. Murrell Smith…

|| By FITSNEWS || One of South Carolina’s top budget writers has been sued by a former business partner who has his own history of legal issues.

According to the lawsuit – filed by Phillip DeClemente in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas last month – S.C. Rep. Murrell Smith exploited “a loophole in the capital gain tax law” so that he could ” avoid paying taxes for personal gain.”

DeClemente’s suit also alleges that Smith – a member of the powerful S.C. House ways and means committee – “used his political connections and his position as Chairman on the Health and Human Services Subcommittee to obtain a state awarded, multi-million dollar contract with the Medical University of South Carolina.”

Additionally, DeClemente’s suit claims Smith conspired with his accountant, Art Bradham, to “inflate a tax liability that truly didn’t exist.”

Bradham also “committed perjury when giving testimony under oath in a deposition,” DeClemente’s suit alleges – referring to a 2010 lawsuit brought by Smith against DeClemente.

Smith told FITS the lawsuit was “frivolous.”

“We will aggressively defend against these meritless allegations,” he said.

Smith said his formal response was being prepared by his attorney and would be “coming soon.”

DeClemente is best known for a bizarre 2012 incident in which he shut down the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. bridge – parking his Lexus SUV perpendicular to oncoming traffic.  The phrases “Stay Away” and “Back Off” were painted on the tinted windows of his SUV, which DeClemente rammed repeatedly against concrete barricades on the bridge prior to being apprehended by police following a two-hour standoff.

Media reported the 2012 incident as an attempted suicide – but DeClemente claimed he was trying to expose a smear campaign against him by local law enforcement and private investigators.

Last January, DeClemente did it again – driving onto the iconic bridge after fleeing a traffic stop and forcing another shutdown of traffic.

DeClemente was barred from the state following that incident, but was permitted to return last July.  Last October, DeClemente was accused of stealing patient files from a doctor’s office that fired him following a run-in with police.


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PattiAnn July 6, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Anyone who shuts down The Bridge should be kicked out of SC and never allowed to return. That includes mental cases, protesters & stupid drivers. It’s just not funny.

PaulJr July 6, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Smith is a thoughtful guy. DeClemente is a kook.
Too bad Smith has to endure stuff like this but I suppose we all end up in the line of fire of the crazies at some point or another.

TroubleBaby July 7, 2015 at 8:48 am

Usually there’s some reason though that a crazy person’s trigger was pulled…even if it was somewhat innocuous.

DOJ Ready To Order Raids? July 6, 2015 at 5:39 pm

It is illegal to banish a person from any state of the USA. There is plenty of US Supreme Ct case law to that effect – even SC case law (Southeastern Reporter).

Bible Thumper July 6, 2015 at 11:36 pm

I wondered about that. Does that include probationers? It sounds like it was for a limited time.

Where's justice? July 10, 2015 at 3:02 pm

They put him on probation to make sure he stayed out of the state and had a way (probation) to lock him up if he returned. poor fellow

FBI and DOJ needs to step in July 10, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Its been time for the FBI and the Department of Justice to step in. Its obvious Phillip DeClemente tried to go forward to the proper authorities with information he had on VIP’s in SC who were crooked. I remember in other news releases it said once he came forward, the law enforcement starting threatening and harassing his life. FBI can just sit around and let this happen to people who are willing to expose corruption, like really? We need more people like him who are not scared to stand up against these powerful crooks!

Truthsayer July 6, 2015 at 6:18 pm

Murrell “dimwit” Smith is about as awful as they can get. Low intelligence, huge ego, and bad manners too. Typical dumb small town lawyer who couldn’t make it in a real market.

Bible Thumper July 6, 2015 at 11:34 pm

“Real” markets have dummies too. No reflection on you.

guest July 6, 2015 at 7:20 pm

He has no standing to sue. Should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6).

Michael J. Stefonick July 7, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Rules don’t matter in SC. The judges are owned by the state Reps and Senators.
Was in Beaufort County court and watched a Charleston Judge give my 4 grandkids to my ex son in law Andrew S. Patrick. No whitness allowed just a clown who would not read her affidavit. The entire legal system is bought and paid for.

nitrat July 7, 2015 at 8:15 am

What’s the deal with the “…state awarded, multi-million dollar contract with the Medical University of South Carolina” ?

buxz July 7, 2015 at 8:48 am

Who knows but M. Smith has family members on that board and its no secret MUSCs revenue comes out of his subcommittee on the House side without him ever abstaining from voting.

Crooner July 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm

DeClemente is mentally ill.

Michael J. Stefonick July 7, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Get them all.


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