Former S.C. State legal counsel testifies at Pinson trial - - Columbia, South Carolina

Former SC State legal counsel testifies at Pinson trial

The second day of the trial for Jonathan Pinson and his co-defendant featured testimony from  the former legal counsel  and Chief of Staff for South Carolina State.

Ed Givens, who has already pleaded guilty to knowing about the kickbacks and not reporting them, took the stand in the Columbia courtroom.

Givens' voice is heard on many of the 118 wire-tapped phone calls with Pinson that have been played for the jury. In those conversations, Pinson claims he expects to make millions from his development projects including Columbia's Village at River's Edge and at the Gonzalez Gardens Housing Complex.

Pinson, Givens and Robinson were all involved in putting together a Homecoming concert at S.C. State paid for with several hundred thousand dollars in student activity fees. At one point in 2011, Pinson proposes booking bigger shows featuring artists like Drake, the Black Eyed Peas, and Beyonce' and possibly taking those concerts to Williams-Brice Stadium so he and his associates can make more money.

When asked late Tuesday afternoon why he chose to abuse the trust of the state of South Carolina and S.C. State, Givens said, "I failed to do a cost-benefit analysis of what I was really getting involved in." Givens went on to say that he thought he wasn't really hurting the university by taking part of the profits from the Homecoming concert.

"I failed at my public duty to South Carolina State," Givens said as he wrapped up direct examination by the government.

Givens has been the only witness to testify on Tuesday.

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