State Senator Hugh Leatherman is widely known as the most powerful politician in South Carolina. He derives most of that power through seniority as the Senate Finance Committee Chairman – the architect of the $30 billion annual state budget.
As Finance Chairman, Leatherman sits on the powerful State Fiscal Accountability Authority (approves state contracts) and the Joint Bond Review Committee (approves state debt). He also sits on the powerful State Infrastructure Bank which borrows money for large road pet projects.
For years, he essentially controlled who was appointed to the SCDOT Commission. He even helped his son-in-law get on the powerful board.
Florence Concrete Products, Inc., a company that Leatherman founded and in which he has a significant ownership stake, has received at least $40 million in SCDOT contracts since 1993. Recognized as a "Disadvantaged Business Enterprise" by the SCDOT, Florence Concrete gets a leg up on other construction companies for state contracts.
AG Wilson and SLED need to open a criminal investigation to answer the following questions:
- Did Leatherman fail to disclose income derived from Florence Concrete from 1993 to 2012, that was required by law?
- Did he knowingly use his official office to obtain an economic interest and to secure $40 million in state contracts for a company which he has significant ownership?
- Is Leatherman reporting ALL of his income derived from state government entities or lobbyist principals?