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SC “Penny Tax” Graft Continues




Earlier this week we reported that the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) was close to announcing its verdict in an ongoing case involving misspent tax revenue in Richland County, S.C.

Specifically, we were told the agency was preparing to “drop the hammer” on this notoriously corrupt county …

Good …

Assuming SCDOR and its director Rick Reames needed any additional motivation to lay low this thugocracy, there’s a new report from Ron Aiken of The (Columbia, S.C.) Nerve indicating that the graft originally exposed by SCDOR’s ongoing investigation is … well … ongoing.

“Four firms, including one run by a former Richland County Councilman and another that’s the personal LLC of the executive director of the House Democratic Caucus, have received more than $1.5 million for public relations/outreach work from the Richland County penny tax program since 2014,” Aiken revealed.

Additionally, Aiken’s report found that excessive monthly expenditures from the county’s quasi-public authority have “continued unabated” into 2016 – even though these expenditures clearly fall outside the bounds of the law.

From January to April of 2016, Aiken uncovered a whopping $1.5 million in program management costs, $722,044 in administrative expenses and $131,346 in monthly expenses for “vehicles, computers, cell phones, gas, gourmet coffee, sodas and more.”

And yes … all of this is money that was supposed to go toward paving roads.

And every single dime of it was stolen via a rigged election.

SCDOR’s probe – initiated last spring – has already produced arrests.  Unfortunately S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson – who should have been all over this scandal – hasn’t lifted a finger on it, leaving Reames’ agency to go it alone.

Wilson’s reticence has clearly empowered the robbers …

Rather than curtailing its graft and corruption, Richland County has doubled down – devoting six lawyers (two full-time government attorneys and four outside counselors) to battle SCDOR in what is expected to be a high-stakes legal battle over the authority of the agency to enforce these provisions.

Let’s hope Reames and his agency prevail in that fight …