Will Folks talks to WIS - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Will Folks talks to WIS

Will Folks Will Folks
(Columbia-AP) July 30, 2005 - A former spokesman for the governor says he's innocent of the domestic violence charges against him, but he's changing his plea to guilty anyway. It all stems from comments Governor Mark Sanford made about the case against Will Folks, calling it a "very stupid and tragic mistake."

He didn't want to speak on camera, but Will Folks did speak to WIS about the case Saturday, "If the man I helped get elected governor and worked side-by-side with for four years has already decided that I'm guilty of a 'stupid and tragic mistake,' then I guess my luck with twelve people I've never met before probably isn't all that great."

Folks is referring to comments the Governor made to the Associated Press. Sanford saying that while he had called to check on Folks, he could in no way condone "wrong behaviors."

Sanford said the behavior that led to Folks' arrest was "flat out unacceptable."

Folks told WIS on Saturday, "That's ok, because God knows and I know what happened, and if I'm innocent in the heavenly court then I guess the legal court and the court of public opinion really don't matter all that much."

A week after Folks was arrested, he denied accusations that he shoved his fiancée, Ashley Smith, into furniture at their home during a heated argument on July 21st. Folks now says he wants to put the incident behind him, saying, "I'd rather get convicted of something I know in my heart I didn't do than put my family and Ashley's family through any more unnecessary suffering. It's time for everybody to move on."

"I wish Ashley and her family nothing but the best. They're good people and my family and I have nothing but love for them."

WIS called the governor's office to see if they wanted to respond to Folk's comments. A spokesman for the governor reiterated that Folks no longer works for the Sanford's office, saying that the governor's prior comments reflect where his feelings lie on this matter.

In changing his plea to guilty to criminal domestic violence, Folks is requesting pre-trial intervention. If he's accepted into the program, Folks may be required to perform community service, and take other steps such as counseling or paying restitution, in exchange for clearing the first-time offender's record.

Two days before he was charged, Folks had announced he was leaving the Republican governor's office to run his own political consulting business.

Posted 4:40pm by Bryce Mursch

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