Suspended Lawmaker Jim Merrill Resigns Hours Before Court Hearing

A hearing for suspended state house Representative James Merrill will be held on Friday

COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - Suspended South Carolina Representative Jim Merrill resigned from the Legislature Thursday, according to House Speaker Jay Lucas' office. The resignation, effective Friday, comes hours before Merrill is scheduled to be in court Friday for a hearing on misconduct charges.

The Berkeley County republican was indicted in December by special prosecutor David Pascoe who is heading up a state grand jury investigation of corruption at the State House. Merrill faces 30 charges, including misconduct in office.

Prosecutors say Merrill used hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for lobbying and benefiting groups like Association of Realtors, Student Transportation of America, Inc, Thomas & Hutton Engineering, Infilaw Management Solutions, Association of Convenience Stores, Trial Lawyer's Association and more. 

Merrill's attorney's say his company's actions were legal.

Judge Robert Hood will preside over Friday's hearing in Richland County.

So far, four lawmakers have been indicted in Pascoe's investigation, including Bobby Harrell, Rick Quinn and John Courson.

Previous Coverage: State Rep. Suspended After Being Charged with Misconduct in Office

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