Former S.C. House Majority Leader pleads guilty to one count of misconduct in office

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Former South Carolina House Majority Leader Jim Merrill has pleaded guilty a day after turning in his resignation.

Merrill pleaded guilty Friday to one count of misconduct in office. Solicitor David Pascoe says the agreement was signed Thursday.

The Charleston Republican had been suspended since a grand jury indicted him in December on two counts of misconduct in office and 28 counts of ethics violations. Merrill had faced up to 66 years in prison and $146,000 in fines if convicted on all 30 counts. Merrill was accused of illegally profiting from his position.

Merrill has denied doing anything illegal.

He was first elected to the House in 2000 and was majority leader from 2004 to 2008. Two other Republican legislators remain suspended because of the corruption probe.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



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