Clumbia Mayor Steve Benjamin's statement published in the July 4 State (“‘I have done nothing illegal,’ Benjamin says) does not adequately address statements made about his conduct in the federal trail of a friend and business colleague, Jonathan Pinson.
It does not address the statement made by a federal prosecutor that Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Pinson used bank loans to “line their own pockets” instead of paying for development projects. Nor does it address the statement made by a boyhood friend of the mayor’s that he had to hound Mr. Benjamin and Mr. Pinson to get back his investment in a housing development project and only received the final payment after threatening to “expose the loan and its handling” to the mayor’s opponent in last November’s election.
These statements raise serious questions about Mr. Benjamin’s integrity and fitness for public office. I hope he will fully and adequately address them.