Charleston State Rep. Jim Merrill resigns ahead of court appearance on corruption charges

Former state House Majority Leader Jim Merrill (File / WCIV)

A former South Carolina House majority leader has submitted his resignation ahead of a scheduled court appearance on corruption charges.

South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas' office confirmed late Thursday that State Rep. Jim Merrill tendered his resignation effective Friday.

Solicitor David Pascoe has announced a hearing in the case against the Charleston lawmaker for Friday morning in Columbia. He didn't elaborate.

Merrill has been suspended from office since a grand jury indicted him in December on two counts of misconduct in office and 28 counts of ethics violations. He is accused of illegally profiting from his position.

Merrill has adamantly denied doing anything illegal. The 50-year-old Republican was first elected to the House in 2000.

He is among three legislators suspended by Pascoe's probe into potential Statehouse corruption.

Merrill declined comment when contacted late Thursday by The Associated Press.

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