SCDP RELEASE – SC Ethics Commission, Attorney General and the SC Supreme Court office of Disciplinary Counsel must investigate Sen. Goldfinch for violation of State Ethics Laws

SCDP RELEASE – SC Ethics Commission, Attorney General and the SC Supreme Court office of Disciplinary Counsel must investigate Sen. Goldfinch for violation of State Ethics Laws

Georgetown, S.C. — After refusing to hold public legislative delegation meetings for over two years, Senator Goldfinch has called a delegation meeting for 2:00 pm today at his personal law office.

Senator Goldfinch’s actions raise two legal issues. First, state law prohibits an elected official from profiting from elected office. Senator Goldinch’s use of his private law firm to conduct county and state business provides an opportunity to showcase his private law firm to the public. This is a clear benefit afforded to him because of his elected office.

Additionally, The Georgetown County Legislative Delegate website says:

“Delegation meetings: The delegation meets at the call of the Chair in Georgetown County Council’s Chambers in the historic Georgetown County Courthouse. Meetings are open to the public. For meeting times, call the Delegation Office.”

Will public safety officers, paid for by the taxpayers, be asked to provide security at Mr. Goldfinch’s private law firm? Is there enough seating for the public? Will the meeting be open to the public?  Are there other public buildings available to hold the delegation meeting?

Second, Senator Goldfinch appears to violate South Carolina’s open meeting laws. The notice of this meeting has not been posted in the legal manner in accordance with SC state law. It has not been posted on the website of the legislative delegation. Section 30-40-80 is very clear:

(A)  …must give written public notice of their regular meetings at the beginning of the calendar year. The notice must include the dates, times and places of such meetings. …All public bodies must post on such bulletin board or website…. 

“What is Goldfinch hiding?” asks SCDP Chairman Trav Robertson, Jr. “Is he afraid to meet publicly with the African American members of the delegation to discuss appointments? We intend on asking the SC Supreme Court’s office of Disciplinary Counsel to review the matter.”

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