COLUMBIA (AP) — The longest-serving city councilman in South Carolina’s capital has agreed to plead guilty to federal tax evasion charges, according to documents filed in federal court last week.
Columbia City Councilman E.W. Cromartie II has agreed to plead guilty to failing to pay more than $25,000 in federal income taxes in 2004, according to a plea agreement filed March 3 in federal court.
The agreement shows Cromartie also admits to making more than $200,000 in cash deposits and withdrawals just below the IRS minimums for transaction reporting requirements.
No date has been set for Cromartie to enter the plea, and neither he nor his attorney immediately returned messages seeking comment. Cromartie could face up to 25 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines, although the agreement shows that both Cromartie and prosecutors agree that a sentence of one year and one day would be appropriate.
As part of his plea agreement, Cromartie agrees to resign from public office and surrender his law license. He also agrees to file amended tax returns, cooperate with prosecutors and take a polygraph test.
Cromartie is not up for re-election this year. He has served on Columbia’s city council for more than 25 years and was elected to his most recent four-year term in 2008.
Federal prosecutors declined to comment on the case since it has not been assigned to a judge.
Cromartie’s law practice specializes in civil litigation and worker compensation.
(Copyright ©2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Wow. A Columbia city council without E.W. Cromartie. That’s a consummation devoutly to be wished, and here it is…
I’ve wished in writing before that someone would at least emerge to challenge him for re-election. Now the seat’s wide open. Wow.