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Governor seeks investigation for spending abuse

Gov. Henry McMaster is questioning how state officials spend tax money. The governor told Lexington Chamber of Commerce members last week that he has asked Inspector General Brian Lamkin to look into how several state agencies  spend tax dollars. The governor said the SC Department of Transportation is one target. The department spends millions of dollars a year, he said, but not all of it goes to the state’s crumbling roads. The governor is not the first political official to questions how DOT awards contracts and spends money. McMaster, who is seeking election to his first full term as governor, promised to root out waste and fraud wherever the Inspector General finds it. The governor appointed Lamkin last year. He has served as an investigator with the IG since 2013.
Lamkin served more than 25 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he specialized in complex white collar financial crimes and corruption of public officials.  Ethics violations and public corruption have been major political issues since House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Rep. Jim Merrill of Charleston and Rep. Rick Quinn of Lexington pled guilty to ethics violations. Sen. John Courson, who represents the Irmo area, was to go on trial facing ethics charges this week. Special Prosecutor David Pascoe has been using a state grand jury to bring indictments for misuse of campaign donations and use of political influence to determine the outcome of votes on legislation.

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