Newberry lawmaker pleads not guilty on misconduct charges, granted bond

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Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 2:16 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2021 at 8:08 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina State Representative Richard Ansel Martin has pleaded not guilty on charges of misconduct in office and contributing to the delinquency of a minor Tuesday.

Martin was given a $10,000 personal recognizance bond by a judge on Tuesday after he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He also asked the judge to be tried on both charges by a jury.

One of the conditions of the bond is that Martin cannot contact the victim or the victim’s family.

A prosecutor from AG Wilson’s office stated during the arraignment that Martin threatened to cut the DSS budget and threatened Director of the Dept. of Social Services Michael Leach’s job.

The first indictment alleges that between December 4, 2019, and January 31, 2020, Martin used his position to try and influence an investigation at the DSS. Wilson did not disclose what the investigation was into.

The second indictment alleges that between January 1 and January 31, 2019, Martin contributed to the delinquency of a minor by providing her with alcohol when she was underage, according to Wilson.

In January of 2019, Martin is said to have provided wine coolers for his 16-year-old foster daughter, according to the prosecution.

The prosecution states that in December of 2019, officers responded to Martin’s home for an unrelated incident. As a result, DSS removed all children from the home.

On December 6, 2019, Martin began making calls to Leach and a legislative liaison for the House of Representatives and DSS. The recorded phone call is said to contain threats from Martin against Leach’s job and the DSS budget if the children were not returned to the house, according to the prosecution.

South Carolina State Representative Todd Rutherford is Martin’s defense attorney in the case.

Martin will appear before a court again at a later date.

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