Simpsonville Mayor Perry Eichor was indicted on three counts by a Greenville County grand jury, according to 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins.
Gov. Nikki Haley has signed an order suspending the Simpsonville mayor from his elected position until the charges against him are resolved.
"I hereby suspend Perry Roy Eichor from the office of Mayor of of the Town of Simpsonville until such time as he shall be formally acquitted or convicted," Haley said in her executive order signed today.
"This action in no manner addresses the question of the guilt or innocence of Perry Roy Eichor and should not be construed as an expression of any opinion one way or the other on such a question," the order read.
Eichor was indicted Tuesday by a county grand jury on charges he used his elected position to impede a case pending before a municipal judge, 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said today.
Eichor on Wednesday again denied the allegations.
"I'm still standing by I haven't done anything wrong," Eichor said.
He said he had not seen or heard about the indictment. "So I have no idea what it says. I have not been notified at all. So I mean there's really nothing to say."
Wilkins, meeting with reporters, didn't identify the type of case, or the judge involved.
But Wilkins told GreenvilleOnline that Eichor's efforts reached the point that the judge came forward and allegations emerged that the mayor "tried to impede or intimidate or affect a particular proceeding."
A Greenville County grand jury voted to indict Eichor on three counts, including a felony charge of intimidation of a court official, according to Wilkins and General Sessions court records.
Other indictments charge Eichor with obstruction of justice and misconduct of a public official, both misdemeanors, according to court records.
Eichor, 79, was arrested last month following an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division on charges that he tried to intimidate a municipal court judge.
Eichor faces 10 years in prison on each of the three charges against him, Wilkins said.
Wilkins said Eichor, as mayor, talked to the judge about the pending case and encouraged him to rule a particular way. The judge is identified in the indictments as "L.S." and described as a Municipal Court judge in Simpsonville.
The indictments allege Eichor in March tried to influence the judge's action in the pending case. The indictments also allege Eichor delivered "an implicit threat" regarding the judge's future employment status.
Municipal Court judges work under contracts approved by the city council and mayor, Wilkins said.
Wilkins said Eichor's indictment was the result of the SLED investigation. The probe is ongoing and Eichor could go on trial in six to nine months, Wilkins said.
"We have to uphold the sanctity of our judicial process," the solicitor said. "Our judges need to be impartial. They cannot be influenced to decide a particular case one way or the other."