John Crangle, longtime executive director of Common Cause in South Carolina, said his ears perked up when he heard reports that a gravel road was recently paved that leads to the home of a state lawmaker who represents part of northwestern York County.
“Evidence from what I can tell does not show the legislator used influence to get the road done, but I know it has happened in the past, and might happen in the future,” Crangle said.
State Rep. Steve Moss of Blacksburg, said he supported the road’s being paved, but didn’t ask for any favoritism.
“I definitely got benefit out of it,” said Moss, a retired banker and three-term Republican who was unopposed in this year’s re-election bid. “I don’t have to wash my car every day now.”
Kidding aside, “There’s nothing been done,” Moss said of the road paving. “It’s all above board.”
Moss’ Cherokee County-heavy district includes the northwestern corner of York County – roughly west of Clover and north of Smyrna, covering the Bethany community, Kings Mountain State Park and the South Carolina portion of Kings Mountain National Military Park.
Cherokee County maintenance crews recently paved a dirt and gravel road off Bear Creek Road. It runs nearly a half-mile where it dead-ends at Moss’ home and property, which was settled in the mid-1700s by his ancestors and overlooks the Broad River.
Since Cherokee County had no other county-owned dirt roads, Moss said, he knew eventually his road would be paved, and he went out of his way to make sure he didn’t get any special treatment.
He said he spoke with the county’s attorney beforehand just to make sure there was no conflict.
Cherokee County Acting Administrator Holland Belue said the road was on the list of projects approved by the Cherokee County Council.
“He in no way received any treatment in any way than any other resident,” Belue said Monday. “Anyone else, if they petition and the road meets the standards, the road has the ability to be brought into the system.”