A sexual harassment case against a former legislator has now been made public as he continues to stay on the ballot for his old seat.
The South Carolina House Ethics Committee voted 9-0 Tuesday to pursue claims that former State Rep. Edward Southard, R-Moncks Corner, harassed several women at the Statehouse. The committee said it had found probable cause Southard violated House workplace policies by his actions.
While the complaint’s existence was not a secret, the committee had previously kept the claims against Southard confidential. Southard resigned late last month, but remains the only candidate on the ballot for his old House District 100. A state Election Commission spokesman said Southard has not filed to withdraw from the race. A petition candidate Robbie Metts is running as a Republican for the seat, but his name is not on the ballot.
Southard told the Charleston Post & Courier Tuesday he had been reassured the case would be closed if he resigned.
Documents show that two Statehouse pages and a lobbyist say Southard’s comments, hugs and touching their knees or arm made them uncomfortable.