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INVESTIGATION ONGOING …

Last June, this website reported on the indictment of three former S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) officials.  One of those officials – Charles W. Shirley – died shortly thereafter under suspicious circumstances.

This week, embattled S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson announced that the two individuals who were indicted along with Shirley nine months ago entered guilty pleas.

At the top of the ticket, former SCDOT signal shop operator Curtis C. Singleton pleaded guilty to the following offenses …

  • Use of official position or office for financial gain, in violation of section 8-13-700 of the South Carolina Ethics Act;
  • Receiving anything of value to influence action of public employee, in violation of section 8-13-705 of the South Carolina Ethics Act;
  • Official misconduct in office; in violation of the common law of South Carolina;
  • Acceptance of rebates or extra compensation, in violation of section 16-9-230;
  • Four counts of receiving anything of value to influence action of public employee, in violation of section 8-13-705 of the South Carolina Ethics Act;
  • Official misconduct in office, in violation of the common law of South Carolina; and
  • Acceptance of rebates or extra compensation, in violation of section 16-9-230.

Damn …

Meanwhile former SCDOT inspector Joe Edward Butler pleaded guilty to four counts of receiving something of value to influence his official duties and one count of accepting rebates or extra compensation, and former SCDOT contractor Allen K. Ray pleaded guilty to one count of “offering money for advice or assistance of (a) public official” and one count of “accessory after the fact” to a criminal conspiracy.

Ready for the kicker?

“Sentencing is deferred for cooperation until resolution of existing or possible future codefendants,” a statement from Wilson’s office noted.

 

Translation?  These three are going to roll on those above them … or else.

As we reported last year, our sources told us Shirley may have had information on several “higher-ups” at SCDOT who were allegedly involved in even bigger scams at the agency – and that those connections were “part of the probe.”

This would certainly seem to confirm those reports …

Slammed by a recent audit and rife with poorly prioritized spending, SCDOT is nonetheless demanding hundred of millions of dollars in new, recurring money from South Carolina taxpayers.

Sadly, state lawmakers seem intent on providing it … even though the agency’s base budget has more than doubled in the past seven years (and even though there is absolutely no effort on the part of GOP leaders at the S.C. State House to reform the poorly-run, unaccountable bureaucracy).

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