Earlier this week, S.C. Treasurer Curtis Loftis was fined $500 and reprimanded by the S.C. Ethics Commission for a supposed violation of state ethics law.
The ethics commission found Loftis made an “inadvertent” and “unintentional” violation when he hired attorney Michael Montgomery to assist in a lawsuit the treasurer brought against Bank of New York Mellon related to the bank’s fees and handling of investments associated with the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission.
Montgomery and Loftis both sit on the Board of Trustees of the Saluda Charitable Trust, a connection the ethics commissioners said created the conflict.
Loftis said he will appeal the decision and fine.
In response to the ethics commission decision, Loftis stated, “While I am gratified that the commission acknowledged this alleged violation was inadvertent and unintentional, I will appeal this decision and the $500 administrative fee. This was a subjective and unprecedented ruling – and I fear that letting it stand would impose burdens upon the selfless service of thousands of people across the state that devote their time to nonprofit boards and organizations.
“This action was filed by cronies of the SC Investment Commission, the same Commission that lost $7 billion of the public’s money through their disastrous investment decisions. I blew the whistle on their unbelievably poor performance and this is just one part of their retribution. South Carolinians know the sorry state of their government and they have twice elected me to fight for them in Columbia. This decision will not keep me from my duties to the people… I work for them and not the handful of rich and powerful elites that run our state.”