SC treasurer accused of violating ethics law with 2011 hire

State Treasurer Curtis Loftis

COLUMBIA, S.C. — State Treasurer Curtis Loftis is accused of violating ethics law by hiring a long-time friend in 2011 to join a lawsuit against the Bank of New York.

Loftis’ critics have long questioned the 2013 settlement’s $9 million payout to the state’s two contracted attorneys. Of that, $2 million went to Michael Montgomery, who Loftis brought on board after taking office.

The State Ethics Commission decided last week that probable cause exists to further pursue allegations Loftis used his position to economically benefit an associate. A public hearing is scheduled Sept. 16.

Loftis said Thursday he looks forward to the hearing so the issue can be resolved.

He could be fined up to $2,000.

In the settlement, the bank agreed to put $25 million back into South Carolina’s accounts.