COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — Four men have been indicted by the State Grand Jury on allegations of corruption at the South Carolina Department of Transportation, including bribery, kickbacks, and the theft of SCDOT property.
Charles W. Shirley, former Field Operations Manager of the DOT’s Intelligent Transportation Systems division, is charged with six counts, including Criminal Conspiracy and Official Misconduct in Office. The indictment alleges that while he was working at SCDOT, he maintained secret ownership in a company that was doing work for his own division at SCDOT, and that he participated in awarding the work to his company and then supervised that work. The indictment alleges that Shirley improperly received more than $360,000 from this illegal financial interest and secret arrangement.
The SCDOT says Shirley worked there from March 1998 until January 2016.
Curtis C. Singleton is the former head of SCDOT’s signal shop in District 1, which is Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Richland, and Sumter counties. He’s charged with 10 counts, alleging that he demanded and received cash bribes and kickbacks from contractors whose work he supervised and assigned. He worked at SCDOT from April 1996 until August 2015.
Joe Edward Butler was indicted on eight counts. The indictment alleges that he took SCDOT equipment and sold it to contractors, keeping the money for himself. He also allegedly received kickbacks and other financial benefits. He worked at the SCDOT from November 2005 until November 2014.
Allen Kent Ray was indicted on two counts, Criminal Conspiracy and Offering Anything of Value to Influence Action of a Public Employee, but he never worked at SCDOT. The indictment alleges that Ray conspired in the secret financial arrangement with Shirley, and that he paid Shirley approximately $360,000 in return for Shirley’s assistance with the fulfillment of contracts and the performance of work that Shirley was supervising in his position at SCDOT.
The SC Attorney General’s office will prosecute these cases, and stresses that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they’re proven guilty in court.
Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall said, “SCDOT has zero tolerance for wrongdoing of any kind and wishes to express its appreciation for the hard work of both the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the SC Attorney General’s Office.” A spokesman for the agency says this investigation started several years ago.