MB police arrest Rep. Thad Viers on harassment charge
Fri, 06 Jan 2012 20:01:14 GMT —
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) -
Thursday morning, an ex-girlfriend of South Carolina State Representative Thad Viers, filed a harassment complaint against Viers, and that allegation has now led to Viers withdrawal from the race for South Carolina's 7th Congressional District.
According to the police report, the victim says after their relationship ended in the summer of 2011, Viers continued to "call, text, e-mail, and show up at the victim's home and work repeatedly after being asked multiple time
The victim explains she was initially hesitant to file a report because she didn't want to hurt his "reputation and career if the information was made public." Viers currently represents SC District 68.
The report goes on to say on December 16, 2011 MBPD officers told Viers to stop contact with the victim and he said he would comply. Viers says on that same day the victim turned down his marriage proposal. "We both tried to reconcile back and forth. It didn't work. At the behest of her friends and some of her colleagues at work, I thought the issue was that she needed to get married, we needed to get married. And I did a lot of soul searching and all this information comes out your going to see very clearly the good in all of this," Viers explains.
The victim also provided officers with a three ring folder documenting the harassment. Rep. Viers is charged with Harassment/First Degree Harassment.
At a bond hearing Friday afternoon, Judge Clifford Welsh issued a $5,000 personal recognizance bond for Rep. Viers. Viers was released just before 5 p.m.
The judge issued a no contact order, telling Rep. Viers he should have no contact with the victim in person or by any electronic means. Welsh warned Viers that if he violated the order he would be sent to jail and bond will not be set. The victim was not in the courtroom.
After the hearing, Rep. Viers says he didn't want to get into the facts of the case. He says he dated the victim for four years before they broke up. As for the charge, "It is a misdeamenor the fine is a thousand dollars if convicted. I plan on at the appropriate time not pleading guilty and providing the press with every e-mail, picture of this event."
In light of the charge, Viers' career in public office is coming to a close. "Because of this issue and the likelihood that it will not be resolved in the next couple of months I have decided in the best interest in the Republican party and for me personally that I am now no longer seeking the congressional seat. It will be too much of a distraction for this issue as well as the issue of our country. So I'm not running for Congress. I'm dropping out of that and I am not running for the State House again either. At the end of this term I will have completed ten years in the state legislature and I will be happy with my service there," says Viers. "Instead, I will focus on building my law practice and advocating free market principles here in Horry County."
This isn't the first arrest for Rep. Viers, in 2007 he pleaded no contest to the charge of illegal communication.
The then 29-year-old Republican made threatening phone calls to James Zeigler, who was dating Viers' estranged wife.
After that court hearing, Rep. Viers emailed a statement to NewsChannel 15, "In most of our lives, we can point to a time where as it relates to matters of the heart our emotions override our good sense. These events represent that for me and I look forward to moving on with my life."