Rep. Jim Merrill Hearing Set this Week on Ethics Charges

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ A former South Carolina House majority leader will be in court this week to face misdemeanor corruption charges.

Prosecutor David Pascoe announced Tuesday that a bond hearing for GOP Rep. Jim Merrill of Charleston is set for Thursday morning in Columbia.

Merrill was indicted last week on two counts of misconduct in office and 28 counts of ethics violations. They marked Pascoe’s first Statehouse indictments since former Speaker Bobby Harrell pleaded guilty and resigned in 2014.

Merrill is accused of illegally profiting from his position. The indictments allege his public relations and political consulting firm collected more than $1 million between 2002 and 2016 from clients who hired him because of his office.

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

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