Thomas Ravenel indicted

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COLUMBIA -- South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel was indicted Tuesday on one count of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute it.

Mr. Ravenel has been suspended from his duties.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Mr. Ravenel has been suspended from his duties.

Gov. Mark Sanford immediately suspended him and pledged to name an interim treasurer as soon as possible.

"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," Mr. Sanford said in a prepared statement. "These are obviously very serious allegations that we're constitutionally bound to act upon, and they'll ultimately be decided by the courts."

The treasurer oversees the state's banking and investments. As one of the five members of the Budget and Control board, Mr. Ravenel also plays a key role in approving state contracts and other financial decisions.

U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd said Mr. Ravenel bought less than 500 grams of cocaine from Michael L. Miller of Mount Pleasant, who also was indicted. But Mr. Ravenel did not sell any drugs, Mr. Lloyd said.

Mr. Ravenel and Mr. Miller face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Mr. Ravenel was indicted as part of an ongoing investigation into cocaine-related activity in Charleston that began more than a year ago, authorities said. By April, there was enough information to begin building a case against Mr. Ravenel, State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said. At that time, the investigation was turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to avoid any appearance of conflict, because the Budget and Control Board makes decisions that affect SLED, Chief Stewart said.

Mr. Ravenel has been seen as a rising star in the South Carolina Republican Party since he defeated longtime Democratic treasurer Grady Patterson in November.

Mr. Ravenel also ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2004.

News of the indictment spread quickly through the Statehouse on Tuesday afternoon, with House and Senate members huddling in groups to discuss the latest details.

"I'm hoping for the best," Mr. Ravenel's friend Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer said. "I've never seen anything like that type of activity from him, so I find it very surprising." Mr. Ravenel had been serving as the state campaign chairman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign. But on Tuesday the campaign said Mr. Ravenel had "stepped down" from his duties.

A millionaire former real estate developer, Mr. Ravenel is the son of Arthur Ravenel Jr., who served in the Statehouse and Congress. Thomas Ravenel will have to come to court for a July 9 arraignment hearing, at which time bond will be set and he will be able to enter a plea.

Mr. Miller is in state custody on a charge of trafficking cocaine, but may be transferred into federal custody, Mr. Lloyd said.

Reach Kirsten Singleton at (803) 414-6611.

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lowellbrown
4
Points
lowellbrown 06/20/07 - 03:24 pm
0
0
I agree with lawyerdude that

I agree with lawyerdude that Grady Patterson was a fine, honest state treasurer. Old he may be, bless him, but he is modest, clear-minded and ethical. Now, you do have to admit Thomas Ravenel and his political friends pulled off quite a stunt, getting him nominated without having to face his strongest Republican rivals in the primary runoff. Tricky stuff, politics. On the subject of Ravenel's indictment, the price of pure cocaine has decreased dramatically during the last couple of decades, and is presently at an all-time low, with more and more people using it to fry their brains recreationally or to profit from distributing it in various forms to society's more vulnerable members. Surely Mr. Republican Poster Child wouldn't encourage anything like that! If indeed guilty, perhaps Mr. Ravenel was just bargain shopping in anticipation of throwing a big old blue-blood garden party. Or (and let's give him the benefit of the doubt, here) as treasurer of a state whose economy could use a boost, so to speak, perhaps he was just conducting an economic study of a successful marketing model - you know, low prices plus high profits through efficient distribution. Aargh!

jmoval0315
2
Points
jmoval0315 06/20/07 - 03:30 pm
0
0
Best one yet @lowelbrown

Best one yet @lowelbrown

jmoval0315
2
Points
jmoval0315 06/20/07 - 03:31 pm
0
0
Catch up Rose. lol

Catch up Rose. lol

Rose
17
Points
Rose 06/20/07 - 04:54 pm
0
0
jmoval, you talking to me?

jmoval, you talking to me? Catch up to what?

dwb619
118566
Points
dwb619 06/20/07 - 06:48 pm
0
0
He gave it away to his

He gave it away to his friends. could this explain Andre Bauer, Lt. Governor, numerous warnings for driving in excess of 100mph.

mable8
4
Points
mable8 06/20/07 - 08:08 pm
0
0
Yes, Smokey; he did run his

Yes, Smokey; he did run his campaign on FAMILY VALUES! What he forgot to tell the voters is: "Don't do as I do; do as I say." 'Nuff said...........what a jerk!

bayouboogie
0
Points
bayouboogie 06/20/07 - 09:14 pm
0
0
There should be random drug

There should be random drug tests on all politicians, city, state and federal.

owensjef
13
Points
owensjef 06/20/07 - 09:16 pm
0
0
I am just shocked by this,

I am just shocked by this, not if he was using it for his self, it is the rich folk drug, but I am shock at the amount. Looks like distribution all the way. I guest he had people who would take it from there and sell it. Why would he be making his own purchase, strange

Rose
17
Points
Rose 06/20/07 - 09:35 pm
0
0
raymond, it does not matter

raymond, it does not matter what political party they are in, crooks are everywhere.

bayouboogie
0
Points
bayouboogie 06/21/07 - 12:48 am
0
0
Honest, 1 million dollar fine

Honest, 1 million dollar fine is pocket change for this guy. He could probably "fart" out that much without a strain. The only way to teach him a lesson is Club FED. Send him to Estill, SC to party with Williams and Walker.

Rose
17
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Rose 06/21/07 - 06:16 am
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I still say no matter what

I still say no matter what party they are, if thet break the law, they should be punished.

jmoval0315
2
Points
jmoval0315 06/21/07 - 11:20 am
0
0
Ah geez, Rose has spoken

Ah geez, Rose has spoken

goodkarma for SC
0
Points
goodkarma for SC 06/21/07 - 12:45 pm
0
0
I heard Rudy's changing his

I heard Rudy's changing his campaign slogan. His current "It's the real thing" just didn't seem appropriate considering his campaign chairman's current problems.

owensjef
13
Points
owensjef 06/21/07 - 02:53 pm
0
0
Oh I think that fits

Oh I think that fits

janlin
0
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janlin 06/21/07 - 07:14 pm
0
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South Carolina and all other

South Carolina and all other Southern States seem to relish the pain and suffering caused by Republicans. Ravenel is only one in a long list of criminals in the Republican party. The president is responsibile for all the pain and suffering in Iraq. Money continually going into a BLACKHOLE!! But South Carolina seems to like this, my home but not Sweet Home. Wake up Georgia , South Carolina we must elect people with a vested interest in America and not their wallets.

janlin
0
Points
janlin 06/21/07 - 07:20 pm
0
0
Scooter Libby(perjury), Tom

Scooter Libby(perjury), Tom Delay(fraud),Dick Cheney,(attempted murder) should I go on!!!!!!

Rose
17
Points
Rose 06/22/07 - 10:14 am
0
0
jmoval, yes I have spoken.

jmoval, yes I have spoken. And?

Rose
17
Points
Rose 06/22/07 - 10:18 am
0
0
You have to make some

You have to make some sarcastic remark at every comment I make on here, and I have tired of your bullying. There is no need to attack me because you don't like my comments. I don't like yours, but I don't attack you because we disagree.You need to take lessons in how to talk with people.

Rose
17
Points
Rose 06/22/07 - 10:26 am
0
0
Raymond, you think I like

Raymond, you think I like Bush? No I don't, but I don't hate him. He is our President whether I or anyone else likes it. I have respect for the office of President. He is our leader. So you think if democrats break the law then they should be free to go? I don't think that way. If anyone, whether in public office or not, breaks the law then they should be punished. If you think certain people should get away with crimes, then why do you feel that way? Maybe breaking the law hits close to home for you?

jmoval0315
2
Points
jmoval0315 06/22/07 - 10:51 pm
0
0
Rose I am sorry baby I won't

Rose I am sorry baby I won't bully ever again.

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