By Paul Gable
Recently I published an article in which I said state Sen. Stephen Goldfinch would challenge 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson in the June 2022 Republican Primary.
Goldfinch called me after publication to say he had not made a decision to run for solicitor. He said he was considering several political offices and didn’t know when he would make a decision about which one to contest. Goldfinch did admit to paying a portion of the cost of a recent telephone poll in which questions about Tom Rice and Richardson were predominant.
Among the offices Goldfinch said he was considering were solicitor, S. C. 7th Congressional District currently held by Tom Rice, Lieutenant Governor or he may decide to stay with his state senate seat. The first three options will all be contested in the June 2022 primaries. He will not have to run again for nomination for senator until June 2024.
Goldfinch also stated I was wrong in saying he had plead guilty in 2013 to a federal misdemeanor for misbranded drugs in violation of Title 21, United States Code Section 331(a). He told me all the charges in the case were dropped.
I requested records from the U.S. District Court in Houston. Goldfinch is correct, the charges were ultimately dropped, but only because of an apparent administrative failure.
According to records from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division, Goldfinch “aided and abetted by others known and unknown to the United States Attorney, caused the introduction and delivery for introduction into interstate commerce stem cells that were misbranded in that the stem cells and packaging did not contain directions for use.”
According to the charging document, the stem cells referred to were used to treat patients with severe diseases such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in violation of federal law.
According to the court documents, an order for an issuance of summons for Goldfinch to appear in Houston, Texas at 10 A.M. December 10, 2013 for the charge was signed on November 27, 2013 by a U.S. Magistrate Judge.
According to a report by the Associated Press, dated November 28, 2013, Goldfinch told the reporter he had been cooperating with the federal investigation. Goldfinch told the Georgetown Times he would have no choice but to plead guilty to the charge. On December 4, 2013, theNerve.org published an article in which Goldfinch was quoted as saying, “I’ve fully cooperated with federal authorities and I told them I fully intend to plead guilty.”
Then, according to the records, nothing happened until December 21, 2017, when Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez filed a motion to dismiss (the case) in Houston District Court which stated, “This matter was filed under a proposed agreement which would have transferred this cause to the District of South Carolina. The transfer was never accomplished. The evidence has been destroyed and witnesses are no longer available … The United States no longer desires to prosecute this matter.”
Why the transfer never took place and why it took four years to file for a motion to dismiss is not included in the court record I received.
One day after I spoke with Goldfinch, an email from the Goldfinch-Winslow Law Firm, at which Goldfinch is currently a partner, stated Goldfinch will leave the firm to pursue “great opportunities for himself and his family” although “it is not clear where (Goldfinch) will be going or what he will be doing.”
Goldfinch stated in an article about his departure that he would take time to explore his political options.
Shortly after the email announcing Goldfinch’s departure from his law firm, a fundraising letter from Stephen Goldfinch for S.C. Senate was sent out to potential donors requesting donations for his 2024 state senate campaign.
It is unclear why, if Goldfinch is considering a possible run for one of three different political offices in the June 2022 Republican primary, he would be requesting donations now for his June 2024 state senate primary.
Under South Carolina law, campaign donations raised for one political office may not be transferred to a campaign for a different political office unless the campaign receives written permission from the donor to do so.
It is certain, however, every week Goldfinch remains undecided whether to run in an already crowded S.C. 7th Congressional District primary or a primary against very popular 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson, difficulties for Goldfinch being competitive in either race rise exponentially.