**UPDATED THURSDAY A.M.**
By RON AIKEN
The CEO of a charity closely affiliated with Richland County Council member Norman Jackson has been indicted on five counts of perjury as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into Jackson and two charities that have received hundreds of thousands in hospitality-tax dollars, Quorum has confirmed.
Patricia “Pat” Ford, CEO of the nonprofit SCALE, Inc., (which Quorum first broke stories about here and here) was indicted yesterday, an arrest warrant was issued and she surrendered herself to law enforcement with her attorney Vannie Williams, Jr., before being released after a 2 p.m. bond hearing. SCALE has received more than $213,000 in hospitality-tax money since 2014.
The perjury counts are related to the submission of required government reports containing false claims, and court papers allege she used cashier’s checks totaling $28,429 she reported as being used to pay others with to pay herself.
Also Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that MoBay restaurant owner Nigel Sandiford pleaded guilty in federal court to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was arrested last July and has been in custody every since. Sandiford is a friend of Jackson’s, and MoBay restaurant has received $130,000 of hospitality-tax funds using SCALE, Inc., as a pass-through agent.
Law enforcement sources confirmed to Quorum Wednesday that SLED and FBI investigations into Jackson and another charity he is affiliated with, the Pinewood Lake Park Foundation (which is scheduled to receive $230,000 in hospitality-tax dollars this fiscal year) continue.
Read more about all Quorum’s reporting on SCALE’s activities here.