Witness: Benjamin received $50,000 buyout from Pinson - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Witness: Benjamin received $50,000 buyout from Pinson and associates

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Testimony in a high-profile federal corruption trial wrapped up early Friday but not before Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin's name was brought up again.

Benjamin's name was brought up in relation to the Village at River's Edge project, which is a city housing project whose development Benjamin was initially involved in but sold his interest in 2009.

In court, Tony Williams, an associate of defendant Jonathan Pinson said it was his understanding Benjamin received $50,000 for his interest in the project, selling it just before his campaign for mayor.

Benjamin sold his interest in 2009, at the time of a WIS investigative report in November of 2013, the project was still incomplete.

The housing development project was at the heart of a lot of testimony Friday.

PR expert Bianca Crawford, who was hired by Pinson, also testified in 2010 the project was still in the infrastructure and grading process.

Crawford was also asked if she was paid with grant money for the project's development, but she said she did not know if grant money was ever used to pay her.

This week's public corruption trial has discussed the Village at River's Edge, as well as a homecoming concert at SC State promoted by Pinson.

The trial is far from over. There's still testimony to be heard and court will be back in session Monday.

Benjamin has been out of state for most of this week but in a statement released Thursday, a spokesperson said he would make comments regarding the testimony after the trial has wrapped up.

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