Indicted SC senator wants charges dropped

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The lawyer for a South Carolina senator who authorities say converted campaign donations into personal cash wants his charges dismissed.

In court papers, defense attorney Rose Mary Parham attacked the legality of South Carolina’s two separate misconduct in office charges. Sen. John Courson was indicted under both of them.

Parham says prosecutors use both statutes because it allows an indicted lawmaker to be suspended while awaiting trial, putting pressure to resolve the case.

Prosecutors across South Carolina have used both misconduct in office statutes recently to charge a number of lawmakers, sheriffs and other officials.

Solicitor David Pascoe says he doesn’t comment except in court and in his filings.

Authorities say Courson gave political consultants $248,000 in donations, and the veteran Republican lawmaker received back nearly $133,000 for himself.