Trustee, Police Chief In Concert Scandal

A former board of trustees chairman at South Carolina State University has been charged with pressuring student leaders at the college into using a business associate to promote a homecoming concert, financed with student fees.

A campus police chief has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges for his role in the deal.

Jonathan Pinson, who was chairman of the university’s board of trustees at the time of the 2011 event, and business associate Eric Robinson, were indicted in an alleged kickback scheme related to the concert, according to the Post and Courier newspaper.

The annual event, paid for with student money, failed to turn a profit in 2012, according to the Post and Courier.

The federal indictment alleges Pinson was to receive a kickback for steering the concert contract to W.E. Entertainment, of which Robinson is a partner, according to the paper. Pinson was reportedly indicted on charges he attempted to use his influence at SCSU to broker a land deal in exchange for a $100,000 Porsche.

Pinson and Robinson both pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Former university police chief Michael Bartley pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge for his role, in which he would have received an all-terrain vehicle and about $30,000 in cash, according to the Post and Courier. More indictments are expected.