State Rep. Jerry Govan, D-Orangeburg, has been charged with assault for an incident in May at the South Carolina Statehouse.
According to an arrest warrant from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, Govan argued with fellow legislator State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, in a conference room, then approached her and said, “Don’t put words in my mouth.” The warrant says as Cobb-Hunter extended her hand toward him to prevent him from getting closer, Govan grabbed “the right wrist area and caused her to fall back.”
The incident occurred on May 11. Cobb-Hunter received medical attention from the State House nurse “for soreness and swelling,” according to the warrant. The House Speaker’s Office initially investigated the incident on its own earlier this year, but decided no discipline was needed.
The Fifth Circuit Solicitors Office reviewed the investigation and advised the findings be presented to a magistrate, who found probable cause and issued the warrant. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department charged Govan with third-degree assault Thursday. He turned himself in to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center Thursday morning, according to the sheriff’s department. A bond hearing is scheduled Thursday afternoon.
Govan has represented Orangeburg County in the House since 1993. He unsuccessfully ran for state education superintendent in 2014, losing in the Democratic primary.
Third degree assault is a misdemeanor charge in South Carolina.
A judge set a personal recognizance bond was set at $1087 at Govan’s bond hearing Thursday.