Prosecutors: DOT commissioner told witness to destroy emails

South Carolina News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say a former South Carolina transportation commissioner told a government witness to destroy emails before the FBI could find them.

Prosecutors in a Monday sentencing memo detailed the accusations against John Hardee who in January agreed to plead guilty to tampering with evidence in a federal investigation.

Prosecutors wrote that a confidential witness said he had paid money to Hardee to influence contract awards. However, investigators said they found no evidence of contracts that were awarded because of the payments and thus did not bring bribery charges.

However, prosecutors said Hardee did instruct the witness to destroy emails after learning of the investigation.

A defense lawyer for Hardee could not immediately be reached for comment.

Federal prosecutors wrote that a sentence of probation would be sufficient.

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