South Carolina Republican to receive inaugural Carl Levin oversight award

The Levin Center at Wayne State University Law School announced today that State Rep. Weston J. Newton (R-SC) will receive the inaugural Carl Levin Award for Effective Oversight on Nov. 16 in Washington, D.C.

Newton was selected for the honor for his role as chairman of the South Carolina House Legislative Oversight Committee. Newton of Bluffton, South Carolina, was nominated for the award by South Carolina Speaker of the House James H. (“Jay”) Lucas.

The award is given to a legislator at the federal, state, local or tribal level who has led or played a central role in conducting an oversight investigation on a bipartisan basis with a dedication to fact-finding. The candidate must exhibit a high degree of integrity and a commitment to legislative comity and civility.

“Representative Newton is the perfect legislator to receive this award for effective oversight,” said former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, chair of the Levin Center at Wayne Law. “Elected unanimously in 2014 and 2016 by his 19 colleagues to chair the Oversight Committee, Representative Newton has established a culture of objectivity, equal participation, transparency, comity and ethics. He has led meaningful bipartisan investigations that have resulted in significant reforms, in particular the committee’s investigation into South Carolina’s Department of Public Safety that yielded 27 bipartisan recommendations for reform, many of which have been implemented.”

Lucas noted that “(under Newton’s) leadership, the oversight of agencies is objective, and committee members are afforded ample opportunities to ask questions and obtain information about agencies under review. Weston brings not only knowledge and intellect to the state House, but also helps to bring people together.”

Prior to his election, Newton served as chairman of his local county council for 10 years, bringing a wealth of bipartisan experience to the South Carolina Statehouse. He earned his bachelor’s from Washington and Lee University in 1989 and his law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1993. He clerked for both Hon. John H. Waller Jr. and Hon. C. Weston Houck following law school.

Newton will be honored at the first-ever national Oversight Summit on Nov. 16 in Washington, D.C. The summit is hosted by the Project on Government Oversight and sponsored, in part, by the Levin Center at Wayne Law. Levin will present the award during a luncheon keynote session, which will be followed by a conversation about how bipartisan, fact-based oversight is possible in today’s political climate.

For more information, visit oversightaward18.