Columbia mayor's lawyer: Florida trip was personal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A lawyer for Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin says he is preparing documents to show the mayor's trip to Florida in 2010 was a personal business trip.

But attorney Greg Harris told The (Columbia) State ( ) that if the State Ethics Commission rules the trip was part of official government business, he will file an amended disclosure report calling it a gift immediately.

Benjamin traveled to Florida with developer Richard Zahn and former South Carolina State University trustee Jonathan Pinson. The trip, which included a visit to a strip club, became public last month during Pinson's racketeering trial.

An email from Zahn that was addressed to Pinson and copied in Benjamin said it was an honor to meet the mayor and discuss his vision for Columbia.

Information from: The State,

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