Treasurer giving away iPads bought by firm

      By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Treasurer Curtis Loftis is distributing iPads to South Carolina schools under a contract with the investment firm running his office's college savings program.

      Loftis spokesman Alex Stroman said Thursday the Republican treasurer has handed out 115 iPads at 15 schools over the last two months as part of his financial literacy education efforts.

      His explanation followed questions during a Retirement System Investment Commission meeting. Loftis declined to answer Chairman Reynolds Williams, saying he didn't have the contract information on hand.

      Stroman later said Columbia Management administers the program he called completely above-board. By law, the treasurer is responsible for the college savings plan. Stroman says the firm buys the iPads to help market the plan.

      Ethics director Herb Hayden says the arrangement doesn't appear to conflict with state ethics law.

      Home schools:

      Home School Resource Center, Lexington

      Upstate Home School Co-Op, Taylors

      Private schools:

      Mason Preparatory School, Charleston

      St. Paul the Apostle School, Spartanburg

      Bob Jones Academy Elementary School, Greenville

      Florence Montessori School, Florence

      St. Martin De Porres, Columbia

      Public schools:

      Daniel Island School, Daniel Island

      Dorman High School, Spartanburg

      JD Lever Elementary School, Aiken

      Schofield Middle School, Aiken

      Fort Mill High School, Fort Mill

      Foster Park Elementary School, Union

      Bridgewater Academy, Myrtle Beach

      Palmetto School at the Children's Attention Home, Rock Hill

      Source: South Carolina treasurer's office

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