Rep. Jim Merrill indicted on 30 charges in Statehouse corruption probe

Source: WIS-TV
Source: WIS-TV

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Rep. Jim Merrill has been indicted on 30 charges in connection to a South Carolina Statehouse corruption probe.

The indictments are for two counts of misconduct in office and twenty eight counts for violations of the Ethics, Government Accountability, and Campaign Reform Act of 1991.

Merrill is a local lawmaker who represents Berkeley and Charleston counties.

First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe announced the charges Wednesday afternoon.

"At this point in the process, the indictments are mere accusations," Pascoe said. "Mr. Merrill is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I also need to point out that this is still an ongoing investigation. Therefore, I will have no further comment regarding this matter."

A bond hearing for Merrill has not been set.

Merrill has been suspended from the House of Representatives.

Attorneys representing Merrill released the following statement:

"Representative Jim Merrill adamantly denies the charges brought against him by Solicitor David Pascoe. He has served honorably and in good faith as a part time member of the General Assembly.  For over 20 years, his vocation and livelihood has been in the field of advertising, direct mail, and public relations.

Contrary to the flawed allegations made today, the work performed by Jim Merrill's private company was completely legal and legitimate.  Solicitor Pascoe has charged Representative Merrill for conduct that is not illegal under South Carolina law.  In fact, the charges include conduct that has been declared legal in written opinions by the South Carolina Attorney General, the bi-partisan House Ethics Committee, and the State Ethics Commission.
Representative Merrill acted in good faith and looks forward to defending himself in court."

You can find the individual charges in the document below.

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