Attorney enters not guilty plea for indicted state treasurer - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Attorney enters not guilty plea for indicted state treasurer

COLUMBIA, SC (AP/WIS) - An attorney for suspended state Treasurer Thomas Ravenel entered a not guilty plea Friday at Ravenel's arraignment on a federal cocaine charge.

Ravenel's attorney Bart Daniel says his client entered a 30-day drug treatment program on June 22nd.

US Magistrate Joseph McCrorey ordered Ravenel to appear in court within 48 hours of being released from treatment.

McCrorey set a $100,000 unsecured bond for Ravenel and his co-defendant, Michael Miller.

Twenty-five-year-old Miller faces the same charge and did appear at Friday's hearing. Unlike Ravenel, Miller was arrested on a state drug charge and has been held in jail in the Charleston area.

He also pleaded not guilty in the federal case.

Even though Thomas Ravenel was not physically present in the courtroom, spectators could certainly sense the sharp contrast between these two defendants.

Ravenel is represented by two of the state's most influential and expensive attorneys. Miller on the other hand, is wearing a striped jail jumpsuit, belly chains and ankle chains, and his attorney is a federal public defender.

Miller has been in custody in Charleston on a state cocaine trafficking charge. He also pleaded not guilty to the federal charges.

Former congressman and state senator Arthur Ravenel was in court Friday and signed his son's bond notice. "If you're a parent or a brother or a sister or grandparent, you all can imagine how Thomas's sister and I feel today, right now."

Arthur Ravenel says he and family members are heading out to see his son. "Tomorrow we're going out to Arizona and we're going to spend a week out there. We hope to get an assessment on exactly what his medical condition is."

The treasurer's father thanked supporters, but his brief statement did not address the case itself.

Attorney Daniel surrendered Thomas Ravenel's passport.

Reported by Jack Kuenzie with AP

Copyright 2007 Raycom Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

Powered by WorldNow