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Trump Pardons Contractor At Heart of SCDOT I-26 Scandal



Former U.S. President Donald Trump granted a full pardon to Carl Andrews Boggs — the contractor at the heart of a huge South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) scandal from 2013.

Boggs was the owner of Boggs Paving Inc. — the contractor on the botched I-26 road widening project in Lexington and Calhoun counties. The messy project should be familiar to anyone who drove from Columbia to Charleston between 2013 and 2016.

In 2013, Boggs’ company was selected to complete the $75 million Interstate 26 widening project — a project that was delayed and delayed due to Boggs’ bungling.

In 2014, Boggs pled guilty to two counts of conspiracy for defrauding the goverment more than $88 million. Boggs Paving was involved in a huge fraud and money laundering case which resulted in the company’s assets being frozen and its right to bid on road projects in North Carolina and South Carolina revoked.

He was sentenced to 30 months in prison at the Edgefield federal prison, according to the Mecklenburg Times.

After Boggs pleaded guilty, Carl Boggs and his brother set up a different company called Lynches River Contracting in 2015 (apparently while he was in prison). His new company had 24 contracts with SCDOT —totaling more than $49 million — in 2016, according to a News 19 investigation.

“Since his release, Mr. Boggs has rebuilt his company, has employed hundreds of people, and has dedicated countless hours and financial resources to his community,” the news release from the White House said.

In 2015, one of the company’s competitors told FITSNews that SCDOT was “coaching” the Boggs’ company on how to complete paperwork with the agency.

Boggs’ pardon “is supported by the Honorable David Lee and South Carolina Department of Transportation Chairman Tony Cox,” the White House news release said.

A source familiar with the situation told FITSNews the pardon was an example of “good ole boy politics at its best.”

“It’s unfortunate that a state agency would condone this type of behavior and continue to support someone who abused the system,” the source said.

Others Pardoned With SC Connections

Boggs was one of 143 people pardoned by Trump and a handful who had South Carolina connections. Among them, Monstsho Eugene Vernon, who served 19 years in prison for bank robberies in Greenville, South Carolina, had his sentence commuted.

“Evidence showed that numerous of these offenses involved him carrying BB guns rather than genuine firearms,” the White House news release said. “While incarcerated, Mr. Vernon has worked steadily, programmed well, and recovered from a bout of cancer.”

Brian McSwain, who served 18 months for a drug crime in the 90s, also received a pardon, which was supported by Senator Lindsey Graham and two former U.S. Attorneys for South Carolina.

“McSwain has been gainfully employed and has been passed over for several promotion opportunities due to his felony conviction,” the White House news release said.

This story will be updated.



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