Fmr. SC House leader Merrill gets bond on corruption charges

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A former South Carolina House majority leader is expected in court to face corruption charges.

A bond hearing for GOP Rep. Jim Merrill of Charleston is set for Thursday in Columbia.

Prosecutor David Pascoe announced the indictments against Merrill last week. They include two counts of misconduct in office and 28 counts of ethics violations. House Speaker Jay Lucas has suspended Merrill until he’s either cleared or vacates his seat.

The 16-year House veteran is accused of illegally profiting from his position. He was majority leader from 2004 to 2008.

The indictments allege Merrill’s public relations and political consulting firm collected more than $1 million from clients who hired him because of his office.

Merrill denies doing anything illegal. His attorneys note he’s been in public relations for two decades.

WIS reports the judge granted a bond of $146,000.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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