6th guilty plea in SC State University probe

Edwin Givens (Source: SC State University)
Edwin Givens (Source: SC State University)

CHARLESTON, SC (AP/WIS) - A sixth person is pleading guilty in the ongoing public corruption investigation at South Carolina State University.

Edwin Givens pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston on Tuesday to misprision of a felony.

Prosecutors say that Givens received a $500 kickback in 2011 for helping direct the entertainment contract for the school's homecoming dance to a specific company.

We got copies of the homecoming contracts two years ago. We found Givens' name on every page, authorizing the university to enter into the contracts.

The 50-year-old Givens was then chief of staff and general counsel at the historically black university in Orangeburg.

Prosecutors say Givens returned the money to the school but later denied knowledge of the kickback during an FBI interview.

Givens didn't say anything as he walked into court to admit guilt.

The plea agreement requires Givens to cooperate with the government in the investigation. Prosecutors will recommend a sentence of six months of probation if he complies with the agreement.

When we first investigated the homecoming contracts in 2012 and 2013, we tried talking to Givens, who we knew had already interviewed with the FBI. Givens never returned our calls.

Givens is free on bond and faces up to three years and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date hasn't been set.

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