What did Rep. Clyburn know about the corruption at the university center that bears his name?

It’s worth considering to what extent Rep. Jim Clyburn has been aware of the mismanagement and corruption uncovered by an audit at South Carolina State University. The transportation center at the center of the scandal does bear his and his wife’s name, so it’s reasonable to expect that he would take an active interest in the center’s progress over the past 13 years.


And there is new evidence that Rep. Clyburn did take a very active interest in the Center. The evidence is a person: Robert M. Nance.

Mr. Nance is Rep. Clyburn’s district director, at least through January 2011. He is also secretary to the South Carolina State University board of trustees.

Through Nance, Clyburn is directly connected to SCSU, whose board was entrusted to oversee the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center.

Update: Manufactured controversy?

On Tuesday, Clyburn said he felt South Carolina State was being unfairly bullied by people who didn’t want to see the transportation center — which he views as a centerpiece to help attract non-black students — succeed.

“I saw this transportation center as a way to do that 13 years ago, and that’s what we did,” Clyburn said. “But those people who did not want this to happen manufactured all of this controversy, and it took on a life of its own.”

Spoken like someone who has no interest whatsoever in being a good steward of taxpayer dollars.

The drive-by media is also missing a major point on this story. Namely, that the audit is just that — an audit. It is a random sample of the Center’s finances, not an exhaustive search into every single record. The audit therefore does not exonerate SCSU of the missing money, it merely says that it didn’t find evidence of the missing money. Factor in the Limehouse bill mentioned in the first post on this, the one that makes it a crime to present false information to the auditing committee, and there’s at least a suggestion that the auditing committee suspects even more wrongdoing than what it has already found via the audit. A good steward of taxpayer funds would want to get to the bottom of all this, if only to clear the Center’s name. But it’s evident that Rep. Clyburn sees the audit as the end of looking at the Center’s books, not the beginning.



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