Columbia (WLTX) - State Senator John Courson has been indicted on ethics charges by a grand jury late Thursday.
The formal indictments were officially announced Friday. News19 learned of them the night before.
The charges are misconduct in office and a conversion of campaign funds for personal use. Courson is accused of laundering campaign money through communications firm, Richard Quinn and Associates.
In the documents, prosecutors say the incidents happened between the end of 2006 and the end of 2012. The indictment says Courson passed $247,000 from his campaign account to Quinn and Associates. That organization then paid approximately $132,800 back to Courson through multiple transactions.
Courson denies the charges.
"These allegations are completely false," he said in a statement. "I have done nothing wrong. I value my integrity and have spent all of my years as a public servant embracing the highest standard of ethical conduct. I believe the most important things one leaves behind in this life are ones children and ones reputation. While it is unfortunate to be charged by a partisan democrat under questionable motives and authority, I have no doubt that I will be cleared and exonerated of theses accusations."
His attorney, Rose Mary Parham, referred to the charges as a "political partisan witch hunt."
Courson's attorney issued a statement tonight to the media saying the allegations are false and they plan to fight the charges.
The 72-year-old Courson has served in the Senate since 1985. He represents part of Richland County.
He now becomes the second state lawmaker indicted by special prosecutor David Pascoe in his ongoing probe on possible corruption at the State House.
Representative Jim Merril was indicted in December.