(US SC) Treasurer indicted on cocaine charges

By Heretic.Ape. · Jun 20, 2007 · ·
  1. Heretic.Ape.

    Gov. Mark Sanford has suspended state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel after it was announced Tuesday the Charleston Republican had been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to possess with the intent distribute cocaine.

    Federal and state authorities made the announcement in a news conference at SLED headquarters this afternoon.

    According to the indictment, beginning in 2005 - before he was elected state treasurer - Ravenel conspired with Michael L. Miller to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.

    If convicted, Ravenel faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

    "Given the grave nature of these charges and what is alleged in this indictment, we're left with no choice but to suspend Treasurer Ravenel immediately," Sanford said in a news release. "These are obviously very serious allegations that we're constitutionally bound to act upon, and they'll ultimately be decided by the courts."

    Sanford said he plans to make a decision on an interim appointment as soon as possible

    Ravenel raised millions of dollars to unseat long-term Democratic incumbent Grady Patterson in November. He ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2004.

    Ravenel in April was named the state chairman for former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's presidential campaign.

    Ravenel, 44, is a multi-millionaire real estate developer and the son of Arthur Ravenel Jr., a powerful South Carolina politician who formerly was a member of the General Assembly and the U.S. House.

    As treasurer, Ravenel is responsible for handling the state's finances and investments. He also holds a seat on the powerful State Budget and Control Board, which controls much of the state bureaucracy. His salary is $92,007.

    Check back throughout the evening and in Wednesday's editions of The State newspaper for updates on this story.

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  1. 0utrider
    South Carolina treasurer indicted on cocaine charges

    [h1] South Carolina treasurer indicted on cocaine charges[/h1]


    COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) -- South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, a former real estate developer who became a rising political star after his election last year, was indicted Tuesday on federal cocaine charges.
    Ravenel is also the state chairman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.
    Ravenel has stepped down from his volunteer responsibilities with the campaign, according to a statement released by Mark Campbell, Giuliani's political director.
    Campbell said the campaign has no information about the accusations pending against Ravenel.
    The millionaire is accused of buying less than 500 grams of the drug to share with other people in late 2005, U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd said.
    Ravenel, 44, is charged with distribution of cocaine, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
    The investigation into Ravenel arose from a drug case last year in Charleston, Lloyd said.
    State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said his agents were aware of the allegations before Ravenel was elected in November, but they didn't have enough information to pursue criminal charges. The case was turned over to the FBI in April.
    "The investigation is just beginning," the federal prosecutor said.
    The man accused of selling Ravenel the drug, Michael L. Miller, is in custody on the same charge.
    Ravenel will be allowed to turn himself in, authorities said. The treasurer's office referred all questions to Ravenel's lawyer Joel Collins, who did not return a message left at his office.
    Gov. Mark Sanford suspended Ravenel immediately based on the serious nature of the charge. The governor said he would name an interim treasurer soon.
    "These are obviously very serious allegations that we're constitutionally bound to act upon, and they'll ultimately be decided by the courts." Sanford said in a statement.
    Ravenel started his political career in 2004, funding his own campaign for a U.S. Senate seat. He finished a close third in the Republican primary.
    Ravenel was founder of the Ravenel Development Corp., a commercial real estate development company. His father, Arthur Ravenel Jr., was a powerful politician from Charleston who served eight years in the U.S. House and is a former state representative and state senator.
  2. jcdjinn
    Re: South Carolina treasurer indicted on cocaine charges

    I love this kind of news.
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