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The Latest: Solicitor says he has nothing to hide

March 8, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on a South Carolina prosecutor and his spending records (all times local):

5:40 p.m.

A South Carolina prosecutor whose spending records have been called into question in a newspaper report says he has nothing to hide.

Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson said in an email on Thursday that his office responded to a Freedom of Information Act request by providing financial documents from January 2011 through last November. He said that resulted in more than 30,000 pages of information which included less than a dozen items of concern.

Johnson said that, to his knowledge, no tax dollars have been used inappropriately for expenditures as reported by the Post and Courier of Charleston.

The newspaper cited records which it said showed Johnson used an office credit card to pay for a hotel in the Galapagos Islands and high-priced Uber rides, among other spending.

As for not showing up for a meeting with the newspaper, a spokeswoman for Johnson said he was at the hospital with his wife as they await the birth of their first child.

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10:58 a.m.

Spending records obtained from a South Carolina prosecutor’s office shows he used an office credit card to pay for a hotel in the Galapagos Islands and high-priced Uber rides, among other spending.

The nearly 1,000 pages of records from Fifth Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson’s office show he used his office credit card to charge $912 at a deluxe hotel on the Galapagos Islands and $1,200 on Uber rides over 13 months, mostly choosing the ride-sharing service’s more expensive Uber Black and Uber Select options, which provide luxury sedans and SUVs.

The records were obtained by The Post and Courier of Charleston with help from the newly formed watchdog group Protecting Public Access to Public Records.

The records do not indicate what account the spending came from, what reasons Johnson gave for the trips or whether he reimbursed the spending. The newspaper scheduled a meeting with Johnson on Wednesday, but a reporter waited three hours, and he did not show and hasn’t returned messages. Johnson’s spokeswoman didn’t return an email from The Associated Press.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com

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