SC

SC Judicial Branch: Interminable Corruption

RETIRING CHIEF JUSTICE’S SWEETHEART DEAL WILL TEST THE LEGITIMACY OF LEGISLATIVE “REFORM” South Carolina “Republican” lawmakers have vowed 2016 will be the year they finally clean up the Palmetto State’s notoriously corrupt judicial branch. Do they mean business? It certainly doesn’t look that way … Last month we reported on the latest shenanigans associated with the state’s…

RETIRING CHIEF JUSTICE’S SWEETHEART DEAL WILL TEST THE LEGITIMACY OF LEGISLATIVE “REFORM”

South Carolina “Republican” lawmakers have vowed 2016 will be the year they finally clean up the Palmetto State’s notoriously corrupt judicial branch.

Do they mean business?

It certainly doesn’t look that way …

Last month we reported on the latest shenanigans associated with the state’s scandal-scarred judicial selection process – exposing how powerful S.C. Senate leader Hugh Leatherman appointed one of his political hacks to the legislatively dominated committee tasked with choosing the state’s judicial nominees.

It’s yet another sad example of how lawmakers cannot be trusted to pick judges.

This week we’ve learned of a “sweetheart deal” being offered to outgoing S.C. chief justice Jean Toal – who will step down from her post at the end of the year.

Toal isn’t retiring, though …

Sure, she will be collecting a big, fat pension from the state’s struggling retirement fund.  But Toal will be supplementing her government pension with a new full-time, taxpayer-funded gig – arbiter-in-chief of a new “business court.”

According to our sources, Toal will act as a “business judge” working for the S.C. Court of Appeals.

“It’s a fancy title for a glorified mediator but with bigger cases,” a source familiar with the newly created position tells us.

Not only that, Toal’s new “business court” will be staffed by two full-time state employees.

Salaries for Toal and these two staffers (one of whom is reportedly her longtime aide, Stephanie Nye) are currently being negotiated.  Meanwhile the state’s general services division – part of governor Nikki Haley‘s Department of Administration (DOA) – has reportedly authorized $70,000 worth of renovations on a suite of offices in the John C. Calhoun building on the grounds of the S.C. State House.

That’s where Toal and her cronies will set up shop.

Yeah.  So much for “retirement.”  Instead, South Carolina taxpayers are being put on the hook for this liberal judge until the day she dies.

Officially, Toal will be classified as a “visiting judge” – but state lawmakers were already invoking other names for her new position.

“She’s the ‘depart without ever leaving’ judge,” one state lawmaker told us.

So … how did Toal land such a sweetheart deal?

According to our sources she negotiated it with her successor, Costa Pleicones – who will serve as chief justice for one year beginning on January 1, 2016 (when, like Toal, he will reach retirement age).

We wonder: Will he land a similar sweetheart gig?  Will he, like Toal, also be permitted to double dip (a.k.a. simultaneously drawing a salary and a pension)?

Hmmmm …

Toal’s self-serving behavior didn’t surprise anyone who has followed her career.

“I believe she has ignored the rules for so long and gotten away with it that she thinks she can do it for the rest of her life with impunity,” one judicial branch observer told us.

We agree with that assessment.

Here’s the bottom line: If “Republican” lawmakers are serious about judicial reform, they will zero out any funding in the upcoming state budget for Toal’s new “business court.”  Obviously there’s no recovering the $70,000 Haley’s administration has wasted in accommodating this boondoggle, but steps must be taken immediately to stop this nonsense before it imposes huge recurring costs on South Carolina taxpayers.

As for Toal?  She needs to go away.

***

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20 comments

Elfego December 1, 2015 at 11:37 am

The wheels of Just-Us never stop!

Reply
shifty henry December 1, 2015 at 11:55 am

clever!

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erneba December 1, 2015 at 11:37 am

As for Toal? She needs to go away.
She is like a bad fart in a crowded car.
Everyone is aware of the problem, but no one says or does anything.

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fred farkel December 1, 2015 at 8:51 pm

Hmmm it sounds like you on this blog.

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9" December 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm

trigger licking time

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Rocky Verdad December 1, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Was just thinking – Female Friendly.

Reply
sparklecity December 1, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Just about 9 inches lower for both of their hands …….with about 15 minutes of video of what comes next…………..Pleezeeee………………..
Oh,Oh,Oh,Oh…ARGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!

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jimlewisowb December 1, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Fuckin’ Cockroach

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Ed December 1, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Damn, more money spent in the Calhoun building. In the last 5 years hey have spent millions and million on that building!

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jimlewisowb December 1, 2015 at 12:53 pm

Tombstone for the late Chief Justice

Jean

Free your body and soul
Unfold your powerful wings
Climb up the highest mountains
Kick your feet up in the air
You may now live forever
Or return to this earth
Unless you feel good where you are

Consider those left behind
Ordinary people
Conscious that you were extraterrestrial
Knowing that you had faults
Running red lights
Obliterating fenders of cars
Answering to no one not even God
Consumed by power and self-aggrandizement
However in the end you also will become maggot fodder

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Nevermore December 1, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Will Toal’s dementia be a factor in how long this gig lasts? I can’t imagine they’d let someone with escalating brain rot oversee anything of importance with nothing more than her rug-munching toadie, Nye, to help her sign her name.

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Smoke Gets In Your Eyes December 1, 2015 at 1:25 pm

Negotiated? What the fuck with? Her term is ending on December 31st. She’d be just another aging lesbian chomping on cigars and pissing standing up.

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TARevolution December 1, 2015 at 1:37 pm

The problem is that FITS is part of the same corrupt, insider den of thieves as Toal.

We need an answer to the filth, but FITS ain’t it…and FITS may be just as bad as the stench of dishonesty that is already there.

When the “watchdog” is so sullied, it is demoralizing…and that is the state in which FITS and Toal want those of us who build it…

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ted December 1, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Has she had any hit and runs lately?

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Old RC lawyer December 1, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Did the buying of Tom Davis’ and a few other Senators and a dozen or so House members count?

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Lone Ranger December 1, 2015 at 4:33 pm

God ALSO has a special deal for DUI-Hit-And-Run-Toal that will end her special deals, as well
And…Jean–neither running NOR that asbestos suit will help you when He sends you straight to… !!!

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SealNet December 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm

There has been a couple judgeships come up in the last year, here in the 10th. Judicial Circuit, and it amazes me, that for such a plum juicy job with very high pay and even higher pensions, there is only one candidate who comes forward for these positions. Probably because anyone who might want it, knows it is fixed in advance.

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For Whom the Toal Balls December 2, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Actually, anyone who knows her – (loves her or hates her it, doesn’t matter) – knows she is damn smart and has a bigger pair than almost any man in state government. She would be great at bashing heads as a business court arbitrator. Watch the business community support this 100%.

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Thinkitthrough December 3, 2015 at 10:47 pm

She has enacted numerous changes to make the judiciary more efficient, saving many millions. She brought the profession, kicking and screaming, into the digital age and has it on the cusp of a full-fledged electronic filing system. We know the efficiencies and savings from such systems are massive based on what has happened in the federal system. And it’s not just huge savings directly for the government. Parties to litigation, including S.C. businesses, save considerably on costs when filings are digital. For those who are critical of government waste and inefficiency, you should be applauding her and happy to keep folks like her around. If she is successful in a business court capacity, it will relieve the courts of considerable time and taxpayer money spent on complex cases. A position like that can easily pay for itself many times over if the right person is in place.

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