Former State Representative Attends Hearing, Enters Guilty Plea
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– Former House Majority Leader Jim Merrill has officially stepped down as a state representative after pleading guilty to a charge of misconduct in office.
Merrill appeared in court Friday to face state ethics and corruption charges. During court proceedings Merrill pleaded guilty to a statutory misconduct charge.
Judge Robert Hood suspended Merrill’s one year sentence to a year of probation that can be served in Charleston County.
Merrill, his attorneys and Solicitor David Pascoe signed the plea agreement Thursday. As a part of the deal, Merrill agreed to cooperate with First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe’s ongoing investigation into statehouse ethics.
Merrill’s other 29 indictments will be dismissed as long as he adheres to the terms of his plea and provides information to the government, something his attorneys say he intends to do.
“We fully expect that he’s going to comply with all the terms of that and in due course, they will be dismissed but he does have to comply,” said Attorney Matthew Hubble.