Three months ago, our media outlet reported exclusively on an ongoing criminal investigation into the man at the center of South Carolina’s badly broken judiciary … a scandal which, unfortunately, does not appear to be tied to his starring role in the systemic miscarriage of justice across the Palmetto State.
Although his conduct there should be under investigation …
As we noted at the time, powerful lawyer-legislator Todd Rutherford – who sits on the influential S.C. Judicial Merit Selection Commission (SCJMSC) and serves as minority leader of the S.C. House of Representatives – is the focus of an ongoing investigation into allegations tied to his “official duties” as a legislator, sources familiar with the status of the inquiry confirmed.
Specifically, items related to his finances.
How did the investigation begin? Who is leading it? And what are they looking for?
According to our sources, the probe into Rutherford began in 2021 and was originally focused on hidden earmarks, or secretive spending appropriations inserted by lawmakers into the annual state budget.
“It started with earmark stuff,” a source close to the probe confirmed to us back in August. “But then it started looking into him double-dipping on his campaign account and other (alleged) misconduct.”
The investigation is being led – at least initially – by agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), but we confirmed there is a federal component to the probe. We also confirmed Rutherford’s bank records were reportedly subpoenaed by at least one law enforcement entity in connection with the inquiry, sources close to the investigation have confirmed.
This week, there was an escalation to the inquiries …
According to our sources, Rutherford was spotted entering a SLED facility on Monday morning (December 4, 2023) accompanied by a pair of public corruption investigators. The 53-year-old Columbia, S.C. native was “smiling” and “laughing nervously,” according to a source who saw him enter the building.
Sources familiar with the status of the investigation confirmed Rutherford was interviewed – but declined to comment further. SLED had no comment on the reported interview – or rumors of a follow-up interview conducted earlier today (December 5, 2023).
Rutherford has previously denied any wrongdoing – and accused his political rivals of “spreading rumors” and “making shit up.”
“I can’t stop people from making shit up,” Rutherford told me back in August. “People are trying to make hay on something without any substance so they are just making other stuff up.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.
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