ROCK HILL, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The York County Sheriff’s Office has begun investigating the use of public money by Panthers’ owner David Tepper and GTRE, a development arm of Tepper’s organization.

This comes in light of the failed $800 million Panthers’ training facility project in Rock Hill.

Deputies say the investigation is ‘simply an inquiry’ and ‘should not create any inference that any party has committed wrongdoing.’

The statement did not indicate what prompted the investigation. Queen City News has asked for clarification.

Below is the complete joint statement from York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson and 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett:

“An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the transfer to, and subsequent use of public money by the Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper and  GTRE, the company created to oversee the construction of the Panthers training facility, was initiated by the York County Sheriff to determine whether any laws were violated during that process. 

The Attorney General, Solicitor Kevin Brackett’s Office, and the State Law Enforcement Division have partnered with us to provide additional resources and assistance and we will work together to ensure that all relevant information is gathered so that a fair and just outcome can be reached.”

The sheriff’s office had no further comment.

In response to the investigation, GT Real Estate Holdings, LLC released the following statement:

It would be unfortunate if the recently announced settlement between GTRE and York County were somehow undermined by politically motivated leaks. The timing of these leaks is all the more curious in light of this settlement.

This is a straightforward commercial matter that is being fully resolved.  The underlying disputes arise under contracts that were jointly negotiated by the parties and are publicly available. The funds paid by the County were handled consistent with the terms of those contracts. 

The settlement fully compensates York County and settles all its claims related to GTRE’s bankruptcy case.  To this end, $21.165 million has been escrowed for months to reimburse the County with interest.