COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A South Carolina senator accused of inappropriately touching a 16-year-old student while he was a teacher almost 20 years ago has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.
Sen. Mike Fanning, who successfully challenged Senate District 17 Sen. Creighton Coleman in the June 2016 primary, will not be charged with a crime, SLED spokesman Thom Berry said.
SLED got involved in the investigation after receiving a request from the Hampton County Sheriff's Office to investigate claims made against Fanning while he was a teacher at Estill High School.
That investigation came in September 2016, just months before the November election. State Democratic leadership cried foul against state GOP leaders, claiming the investigation was nothing more than political dirty tricks before the election.
Fanning went on to win the seat outright against Republican Mark Palmer.