HomeSouth CarolinaFormer Charleston councilman Harry J. Griffin under investigation for alleged campaign fund...

Former Charleston councilman Harry J. Griffin under investigation for alleged campaign fund misuse

Charleston, South Carolina – Harry J. Griffin, a former councilman from Charleston, is currently being investigated by the South Carolina State Ethics Commission. The investigation stems from a complaint filed by Edward Sutton on August 26, 2021. Sutton accused Griffin of misusing campaign funds from his 2017 city council run for advertising in his 2019 mayoral campaign, which is illegal under South Carolina law.

The Ethics Commission has identified 39 specific violations in its preliminary findings. According to the Post and Courier, these allegations include:

  • 31 counts of use of campaign funds for personal use, violates section 8-13-1348
  • 5 counts of failure to disclose campaign contributions, violates section 8-13-1308
  • 2 counts of excessive cash withdrawal, violates section 8-13-1348
  • 1 count of failure to disclose campaign expenditure, violates section 8-13-1308

The formal hearing for Harry J. Griffin regarding his alleged mismanagement of campaign funds is scheduled for June 20 at the Commission Hearing Room in Columbia, as stated in the notice of hearing document. The document alleges that Griffin moved more than $11,500 from his campaign funds to a personal account between 2017 and 2021.

If Griffin is found guilty of these charges, he could be fined up to $78,000, with each of the violations potentially costing him $2,000. Griffin’s time as District 10’s councilman was marked by several controversies.

Read also: South Carolina poised to scrap sales tax on feminine hygiene products

In 2020, a large number of people signed a digital petition demanding his resignation from the city council after his involvement in a rally organized by far-right groups, including the Proud Boys. Griffin later issued an apology, clarifying that he thought the rally was about a proposed tax increase in the city. Additionally, during his councilman term, he was arrested for a DUI in 2021, but the charges were eventually dropped by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office.

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