[QUOTE]South Carolina treasurer indicted on cocaine charges
Story Highlights• South Carolina Treasurer Ravenel indicted on federal drug charges Tuesday
• Ravenel also served as state chairman for Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign
• Republican charged with distributing cocaine in 2005
• Federal prosecutor says "investigation is just beginning"
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (AP) -- South Carolina Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, a former real estate developer who became a rising political star after his election last year, was indicted Tuesday on federal cocaine charges.
[B]Ravenel is also the state chairman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.[/B]
Ravenel has stepped down from his volunteer responsibilities with the campaign, according to a statement released by Mark Campbell, Giuliani's political director.
Campbell said the campaign has no information about the accusations pending against Ravenel.
The millionaire is accused of buying less than 500 grams of the drug to share with other people in late 2005, U.S. Attorney Reggie Lloyd said.
Ravenel, 44, is charged with distribution of cocaine, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The investigation into Ravenel arose from a drug case last year in Charleston, Lloyd said.
State Law Enforcement Division Chief Robert Stewart said his agents were aware of the allegations before Ravenel was elected in November, but they didn't have enough information to pursue criminal charges. The case was turned over to the FBI in April.
"The investigation is just beginning," the federal prosecutor said.
The man accused of selling Ravenel the drug, Michael L. Miller, is in custody on the same charge.
Ravenel will be allowed to turn himself in, authorities said. The treasurer's office referred all questions to Ravenel's lawyer Joel Collins, who did not return a message left at his office.
Gov. Mark Sanford suspended Ravenel immediately based on the serious nature of the charge. The governor said he would name an interim treasurer soon.
"These are obviously very serious allegations that we're constitutionally bound to act upon, and they'll ultimately be decided by the courts." Sanford said in a statement.
Ravenel started his political career in 2004, funding his own campaign for a U.S. Senate seat. He finished a close third in the Republican primary.
Ravenel was founder of the Ravenel Development Corp., a commercial real estate development company. His father, Arthur Ravenel Jr., was a powerful politician from Charleston who served eight years in the U.S. House and is a former state representative and state senator.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE]Ravenel is also the state chairman for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign.[/QUOTE]
According to Rush, if you turn yourself in this isn't the same as being arrested.
[QUOTE]Ravenel will be allowed to turn himself in, authorities said. The treasurer's office referred all questions to Ravenel's lawyer Joel Collins, who did not return a message left at his office.[/QUOTE]
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Group wants Giuliani priest pal fired By FRANK ELTMAN, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jun 22, 11:12 PM ET
Advocates for victims of abuse by Catholic clergy on Friday urged presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani to fire a priest who was suspended from the church and then hired by the ex-mayor's security consulting business. A spokeswoman for Giuliani said the firm had no plans to fire Monsignor Alan Placa.
Placa, a childhood friend of Giuliani's, has defended himself for years over allegations in a 2003 Suffolk County grand jury report that detailed decades-old abuses by priests in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y.
None of the priests were ever prosecuted or even identified because statutes of limitations had expired long before the district attorney's investigation. Days after the report, Placa acknowledged in an interview with The New York Times that he was implicated in the grand jury report but he denied that he had ever abused children.
[B]"There's ample evidence showing that Placa consistently protected predators, shrewdly deceived victims, and covered up horrific clergy sex crimes," said a statement from David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. SNAP also contends that he abused children.[/B]
[B]Placa was suspended from his duties as a priest in June 2002 after the abuse allegations surfaced. A lawyer, he currently works as a consultant for Giuliani Partners.[/B]
Placa was unavailable for comment Friday, said company spokeswoman Sunny Mindel. She said Giuliani was standing by his childhood friend.
"The former mayor believes that Alan Placa has been unjustly accused," she said.
[B]SNAP called for Giuliani to fire Placa following the publication of a Salon profile of the cleric. In the story, the online magazine quotes Richard Tollner, who testified before the Suffolk County grand jury and claimed he had been abused by Placa. Tollner told the magazine Placa molested him and at least two others, but school authorities did nothing when they were told about it.[/B]
Placa and Giuliani have been friends since their days together at Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. After he was suspended, Placa received special permission to officiate at the funeral of the former mayor's mother, Helen, in 2002. He also baptized both of Giuliani's children.