Former attorney for SC State suspended from practicing law

Edwin Givens enters Federal Court in Charleston on May 13, 2014. (Brad Nettles/Staff)

The former chief of staff and attorney for South Carolina State University who pleaded guilty earlier this month to his participation in a kickback scheme at the college has been suspended from practicing law.

The South Carolina Office of Disciplinary Counsel placed Edwin Givens on interim suspension Wednesday, according to court records.

Givens, 50, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony May 13 in connection to having knowledge of a kickback and concealing the information from federal authorities.

Givens faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but prosecutors recommended a six-month probation sentence.

U.S. District Judge David Norton will ultimately decide how long Givens will serve. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.

As part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office, Givens has to cooperate in the ongoing investigation of corruption at S.C. State.

Givens was remains free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bail.

Givens was one of eight high-level employees fired in February 2012 in connection with an internal investigation at the school.

So far, six people have pleaded guilty in connection with the corruption investigation at the historically black college. Charges remain pending for two others.

Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or