Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin says he regrets going on a trip that included a visit to a Florida strip club with a business partner who recently was convicted on felony racketeering charges.
Benjamin issued a statement around 10 p.m. Thursday, several hours after a federal jury found former South Carolina State University trustee Jonathan Pinson guilty of 29 charges.
Benjamin reiterated he was never charged in any of Pinson's dealings. The mayor says he severed his business ties with Pinson before he started doing anything illegal.
During Pinson's trial, a developer testified he took Benjamin and Pinson to Florida where they visited a strip club. Benjamin says he should have used better judgment.
The mayor ended his statement asking for prayers and saying his family is stronger than ever.