Tag: Jimmy Richardson

Goldfinch Undecided About Next Political Venture

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.”

click headline above to read more

Goldfinch Weighing Run for Solicitor

Earlier this week I lumped Stephen Goldfinch into a group of state legislators considering a challenge to Tom Rice in the June 2022 primary.
It appears I was wrong.
Goldfinch is apparently considering challenging Jimmy Richardson for the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s job, according to a number of people I have spoken with since I wrote the article.
Richardson is generally considered a good solicitor. He trained as an assistant solicitor under Greg Hembree and was elected to the top job when Hembree moved on to the state senate in 2012.
One attorney I spoke with said, “Other than some convicted felons, I don’t know of anyone who has an issue with Jimmy Richardson.”
Goldfinch, on the other hand, would be virtually a novice in the criminal area of the law. He doesn’t appear to have handled more than a handful of criminal cases, all misdemeanors, in his law practice.
He not only has no experience with serious felony cases but would not even be eligible, according to state guidelines, to defend a death penalty case. Of course, the way things are set up, minimum requirements of years of experience for criminal defense in capital cases are mandated but for prosecution they are not.
As one attorney said to me, “The law requires competent defense not competent prosecution.” But the people demand competent prosecution against serious offenders.
Goldfinch has had one brush with the law as a criminal defendant. In 2013, Goldfinch plead guilty to one misdemeanor charge of interstate transfer of mislabeled drugs. The charge arose when federal prosecutors in Houston alleged upon their information that from April 26, 2006, through Dec. 30, 2008, a Mt. Pleasant-based company then owned and operated by Goldfinch, called Caledonia Consulting Inc., was involved with the “distribution and sale of stem cells” that had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “treat human diseases.”
At the time of the charge, Goldfinch told media he had no knowledge of illegal activities by those the stem cells were sold to or by the doctor who harvested the stem cells.
One of those doctors has presented a different story as an “official archived legal webpage” on the website of his company. That webpage can be viewed at: https://www.dammaimorganllc.com/archive-stem-cells-case.html

click on headline above to read more

First Anniversary of the Plot to Smear Council Chairman Johnny Gardner

Exactly one year ago today former county administrator Chris Eldridge, former council chairman Mark Lazarus and county attorney Arrigo Carotti went public with a plot to attempt to overturn the will of the voters by smearing incoming county chairman Johnny Gardner on the day of his swearing in.

In the week prior, Carotti had authored a five-page memo, with input from Eldridge and Lazarus, attempting to portray Gardner as being involved in a plot to extort money from the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation.

The memo was sent to council members as ‘Attorney Client Privileged’ in an attempt to try and give some official weight to the narrative and, within 12 hours, leaked to a Columbia media outlet to make the story public. The supposed facts in the memo were entirely fictitious.

As soon as the leaked story was published on the internet, complete with a copy of Carotti’s memo, Eldridge sent the memo to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division requesting an investigation.

Within a one day period, the plotters had linked the name ‘Gardner’ to the word ‘extortion’, spread the story statewide and used the publishing of the story as an excuse to contact SLED.

It was an email from Lazarus to Eldridge that first brought SLED into the conversation.

The problem was the story was complete fiction, But that didn’t stop the plotters. The apparent objective was to get Gardner to step aside from the office he had been elected to so that Lazarus could reclaim it. (At the time, apparently unaware of the provisions for filling a vacancy in a county office, they thought the Governor could make an appointment to fill the void and that appointment would be Lazarus who had been defeated by Gardner at the polls.

Within another 24 hours, the entire plot began to fall apart.

Carotti used alleged statements made by Sandy Davis, President and CEO of the MBREDC to both himself and Eldridge as a major source for his narrative, as well as a recording of a lunch meeting between Gardner, Davis and two others.

When contacted by media for comment about the Carotti memo, Davis was quoted responding about the memo, “A lot of it was fabricated.”

County Attorney Tried to Directly Influence SLED Investigation

New information has surfaced that demonstrates Horry County attorney Arrigo Carotti not only attempted to tell SLED investigators what direction their investigation of Horry County Chairman Johnny Gardner should take but also what conclusions they should and should not draw as a result.

Allegations of extortion against Gardner, began with a five-page memo written by Carotti, from December 14–19, 2018, in concert with input from county administrator Chris Eldridge. The memo also attempted to implicate Luke Barefoot, Donald Smith and myself in this fictitious plot.

Eldridge sent the Carotti memo to SLED December 20, 2018 requesting the agency investigate the allegations, but only after the memo was leaked to and published by a Columbia internet media outlet early in the morning of December 20th.

Eldridge told county council members, during a March 5, 2019 special meeting of council, he sent the memo to SLED only after it was leaked in the media because “he didn’t want to be accused of a cover up.”

Before the results of the SLED investigation were made public, an attorney friend of mine told me his theory on the entire affair was that a civil conspiracy plot had taken place among players who were willing to go to any length to keep Gardner from taking office on January 1, 2019. Are we talking “Deep County” here?

With more and more journalists seeking additional information about the allegations against Gardner through Freedom of Information Act requests and questions of the various people included in this saga, new revelations have come to light in recent days that add significant credence to this theory.

Carotti’s original five-page memo is based completely on hearsay about supposed conversations, none of which Carotti nor Eldridge were party to. In his memo, Carotti states he began writing it on December 14th “as a result of events that have taken place since December 5 as memory fades over time and this debacle is broadening.”

SLED Said NO! Chris and Arrigo Gotta Go

Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson issued a press release and report Thursday evening which included a letter to SLED stating, “Based on the information you uncovered and provided in your report of this investigation, there is no credible evidence of extortion by Luther “Luke” Barefoot or Johnny Gardner…”

A link to the entire 41 page report appears at the end of this story.

Richardson’s report brings to a close an investigation into an alleged extortion attempt by Horry County Council Chairman Johnny Gardner and his business partner Luke Barefoot.

The allegations were reported to SLED by Horry County Administrator Chris Eldridge and supported by a five-page memo authored by Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carotti.

The allegations centered around comments made, or more appropriately stated not made, during a business meeting at Rivertown Bistro in Conway. Present at the meeting were Gardner, Barefoot, Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Corporation President Sandy Davis and MBREDC Director of Investor Relations Sherri Steele. The meeting was audio recorded and the recording was a key piece of evidence in determining what had not taken place – namely any extortion attempt.

As the Richardson release stated, “The recording of the conversation is consistent in form and content with what Davis, Steele, Barefoot and Gardner described to you in their individual interviews about what was discussed and the manner in which it was discussed.”

The report goes on, “President Davis never told anyone that she felt pressured. President Davis never told anyone that they tried to extort money.”

Director Steele said, “We never felt threatened or felt like we had to hire them or pay them any money.”

All four participants reported that it was “a positive meeting.”

As the report states, “Davis and Steele repeatedly state they were not threatened or extorted and they are the sole eyewitnesses to the event, or non-event as the case may be.”

Italian-American Council to Host Fundraiser

The Italian-American Heritage and Charitable Council will host a silent auction to benefit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson’s program for at risk kids.

The event will take place at Angelo’s Steak and Pasta, 2311 South Kings Hwy, Myrtle Beach, on Sunday December 4, 2016 between the hours of 3 – 6 p.m.

Richardson’s program is designed to give at risk kids a second chance to be successful in the community.

The event will also benefit musical students at Coastal Carolina University and to help promote other programs of the IAHCC in the coming months.

The silent auction will feature over 100 gifts perfect for the Christmas and Hanukkah season with beginning prices set in the 50-60 percent of value range.

The IAHCC is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit meaning all money spent for auction items is tax deductible.

Free Angelo’s famous pizza and soft drinks will be available to all in attendance.

“It is our hope you will do your best to attend this very worthwhile event that will bring a smile of happiness to the faces of everyone who has helped and especially the young kids who need a break,” said IAHCC president Fred Nesta.

The following corporate sponsors have contributed to the cost of the event: