Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Governor Henry McMaster has suspended Columbia City Councilman Moe Baddourah from office, following Baddourah's indictment on domestic violence charges.
McMaster issued an executive order Monday outlining his decision.
Last July, Baddourah was arrested by Richland County deputies after he was accused of slamming his wife's leg in a car door. He was indicted recently.
Baddourah has maintained that he didn't do anything wrong, and that the allegation against him is false.
Baddourah issued the following statement Monday night:
“It's troubling that the Governor would suspend a public official for an alleged misdemeanor without a conviction. It’s hard to see how this serves the public interest, as it leaves the people of District 3 without representation on City Council.
“It’s important to remember that at no point prior to the indictment or the suspension order have we been given an opportunity to present our case or any evidence. Once given a chance to defend myself, I’m confident that the facts will support my innocence.
“The accusation against me is false, and appears to be designed to impact my custody case. I never assaulted my wife, or touched her in any way.
“I want to thank the many people who have offered support and encouragement during this very difficult time. I plan to remain active in the community on a volunteer basis, and I look forward to returning to City Council once this matter is resolved. I have no plans to resign."
Baddourah has been on the council since 2012. His current term does not expire until the end of 2019.