JULY 06, 2007
Federally indicted for cocaine possession, South Carolina’s embattled state treasurer spent most of his publicly financed time fielding requests for favors and working as campaign chair for Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani.
Rather than work on his official duties, the public official (Thomas Ravenel) got paid to snort cocaine, do favors for his rich buddies, explore bigger political goals for himself and work on a presidential campaign using his state-issued equipment.
In using the state-issued equipment as well as its electronic mail system to work long hours on Giuliani’s presidential campaign, Ravenel repeatedly violated state ethics rules which specifically prohibit any state employee from using work time or state equipment to work on political campaigns. The violations are completely separate from a recent federal indictment for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
The disgraced treasurer faces up to two decades in prison and a $1 million fine. Ravenel, who is a millionaire, has not appeared in court proceedings because he is in an upscale drug rehabilitation facility in Arizona where other rich and famous people have gone through detoxification.
Just last year Republican Florida Congressman Mark Foley, who resigned after his sexual escapades with teenage House pages was exposed, stayed at the facility to treat alcoholism. A variety of Hollywood celebrities – including Julie Andrews, Michael Douglas, Ringo Starr and Whitney Houston – have also stayed there.
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