Hearings Thursday on corruption at S.C. State
United States Attorney Bill Nettles stated in a news release today that two separate hearings will be held Thursday in connection with a public corruption prosecution involving South Carolina State University and related matters.
The first hearing will be held at 11 a.m. at the Hollings Judicial Center and federal courthouse in Charleston, before U.S. District Judge David C. Norton.
The second hearing will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Matthew J. Perry federal courthouse in Columbia, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph R. McCrorey.
The release did not state the names of people who would appear.
The university appears to be gearing up to handle the corruption allegations.
The Board of Trustees is meeting behind closed doors at 5 p.m. today to receive legal advice.
The board has not specifically stated what sort of legal advice it would receive, but the Orangeburg school for months has been part of an ongoing, yet unspecified criminal investigation.
The the state’s only public historically black university in Orangeburg has been in turmoil in recent years, especially in the past year.
Four members of the school’s board have stepped down in the past year. Jonathan Pinson, the group’s former chairman, resigned in December. School officials said Pinson wanted to spend more time with his family.
The school this year also has faced a budget shortfall of nearly $6 million, and enrollment fell short by nearly 500 students.
Problems and issues at the school in recent years include;
June 2010: Problems at the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center exposed.
June 2010: President George Cooper fired by Board of Trustees.
July 2010: Cooper rehired by a board with two new members.
January 2011: The Faculty Senate votes that it has “no confidence” in Cooper’s leadership.
June 2011: The state’s Legislative Audit Council releases report citing severe management problems at the transportation center.
February 2012: Jonathan Pinson steps down as board chairman but remains a board member.
February 2012: Cooper fires eight high-level administrators.
March 2012: Cooper announces that he will step down.
March 2012: Reggie Lloyd, a lawyer hired by the university and former chief of the State Law Enforcement Division, said the university is involved in a criminal investigation.
April 2012: Board members Walter Johnson and Matthew Richardson resign.
May 2012: Board member Lancelot Wright resigns.
December: 2012: Jonathan Pinson resigns from the board.
Check postandcourier.com for updates. Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter @dianeknich.