MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – An Horry County Council candidate accused of soliciting for bribe money says he didn’t do anything wrong.
Dick Withington, Horry County Council and South Carolina State Senate candidate, held a press conference Wednesday morning at his house in Myrtle Beach to address his recent arrest.
Withington faces what is essentially a bribery charge, one count of inducement to file for, or withdraw from, candidacy for election. Police say Withington asked for $20,000 to drop out of the Council District Four race.
Withington suggested the dollar amount in an email sent last month to several council members including Gary Loftus, who currently holds the District Four seat. Withington revealed during Wednesday’s press conference he sent the email late at night after drinking three glasses of wine, and that people misunderstood the message.
Withington handed out a copy of the email he sent in March to those attending the press conference. In the email, Withington said he needed “immediate substantial donations” in order to switch his attention to the senate district 34 race.
But Withington maintains he never planned to drop out of the Horry County Council District Four race, and says his arrest was a “sting operation.”
“The sting operation that they set up, they pulled the wool over the eyes of the Horry County authorities in my opinion, and set up a sting operation,” says Withington.
Withington says he doesn’t plan to drop out of the race despite his pending charge, and unless he’s convicted, Withington is legally allowed to stay on the ballot.
“I’m not withdrawing from any race. I’m not dropping out. I’m not committing bribery. If anything, they’re committing bribery. They’re trying to bribe me,” reasons Withington.