What SC state legislators earn from the public

June 22, 2013 

  • CAPITOL ETHICS

    State Sen.

    Hugh Leatherman

    Did not disclose: $735,000 in state contracts awarded to a company Leatherman partially owns. Says he does not control the company and has no knowledge of its contracts.

    State Rep.

    Kris Crawford

    Did not disclose: $28,000 in Medicaid payments. The physician says he does not know when Medicaid pays for a patient’s care.

    State Rep.

    B.R. Skelton

    Did not disclose: His $22,900 legislative salary — $114,500 for five years — until asked by a reporter. Says he did not know he had to.


    Do you know....

    What state official received almost $30,000 in tickets last year, including $28,000 for football games? Find the answer here.

    What state senator’s business was paid $1.6 million by Medicaid and the insurance program for state workers? Find the answer here.

    What lawmakers reported the most money from public sources? Fine the answer here.

    A new database allows you to search your legislator’s public-sector earnings, businesses, travel and gifts.


    About this series The third in a continuing series in The State on ethics at the S.C. State House

    Today: Each year, state legislators and officials declare how much they earn from the public. However, their wildly inconsistent disclosures, filed with little oversight, make it impossible to say definitively how much officials earn.

The top 10 state legislators ranked by how much they made from public sources, according to their statements of economic interest

1. Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort

Amount reported: $2.3 million

Where it came from: $1.1 million is the value of his Beaufort home. Davis said because his home benefits from public water and sewer lines, he needed to disclose it. Also, $386,395.58 came from fees that Davis’ law firm earned from representing public entities. Other properties account for the balance.

2. Sen. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson

Amount reported: $1.6 million

Where it came from: Bryant is president of Bryant Pharmacy & Supply, and $1.2 million of his reported income came from sales of prescriptions and supplies to the state’s Medicaid program. Another $379,705.86 came from sales to the Public Employee Benefit Authority, which oversees the state’s health plan and retirement systems.

3. Rep. Chris Murphy, R-Dorchester

Amount reported: $1.1 million

Where it came from: $910,000 from three properties Murphy owns. He listed them because he said they benefited from public water and sewer services. Another $20,000 came from Dorchester County paying Murphy to represent criminal defendants who could not afford an attorney. The rest came from gifts and state salary and reimbursements.

4. Rep. Jenny Horne, R-Dorchester

Amount reported: $878,427.86

Where it came from: $851,987 from legal fees that Horne’s law firm earned representing the state comptroller general’s office. Of those fees, Horne said she received $4,221.

5. Rep. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter

Amount reported: $837,292.75

Where it came from: Smith has his hand in several businesses, including a law firm and a medical supply company. That’s why he reported $197,656.40 in income from Medicaid and $120,158.40 in legal fees from workers’ compensation cases. He also reported $483,549.17 in fees for legal work involving various other public entities, including local governments, the state health plan and the state insurance reserve fund.

6. Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston

Amount reported: $751,831.79

Where it came from: $682,000 in legal fees from the Medical University of South Carolina and $67,949.46 in salary, benefits and legal fees from the city of North Charleston, where Thurmond is a part-time prosecutor.

7. Rep. Tommy Pope, R-York

Amount reported: $712,153.74

Where it came from: $686,301.16 in legal fees that Pope’s law firm earned in cases before the state Workers’ Compensation Commission.

8. Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Horry

Amount reported: $518,426.36

Where it came from: $481,272.78 in legal fees that Rankin’s law firm earned in cases before the state Workers’ Compensation Commission

9. Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Charleston

Amount reported: $372,400

Where it came from: A $350,000 dock that Campsen owns at Patriots Point, a state agency.

10. Sen. Ronnie Cromer, R-Newberry

Amount reported: $334,324

Where it came from: Cromer owns a pharmacy that made $302,000 in sales to the state Medicaid program.

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