Elgin town councilman Norman Bubba Ernst has resigned his post, following his arrest on charges he beat his wife, Mayor Brad Hanley said.
The email with Ernsts resignation said he was quitting so the Kershaw County community will not get bad publicity due to his troubles, Hanley said.
A special election will be held this summer in the town of 1,200 to select a replacement to fill the remainder of the four-year term to which Ernst was elected in 2011, the mayor said
Ernsts resignation comes less than a week after Kershaw County Sheriffs deputies accused the man of beating his wife with a flashlight at his business, Elgin Quick Lube.
Ernst was arrested Tuesday in Mount Pleasant and charged with criminal domestic violence of a high and aggravated nature after his wife went to the Elgin Police Department Monday to report the beating and another in Elgin town limits. His wife had to be hospitalized for her injuries.
Ernst, a convicted felon, had a pistol-grip shotgun on him when he was arrested. Officers also found more guns, ammunition and marijuana at his home upon a search, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthew said earlier this week. The sheriffs office asked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the guns, which were illegal for Ernst to own under federal law.
The State Law Enforcement Division has taken over the investigation of the incident in Elgin because Ernst was an elected official at the time it occurred.
Ernst was also arrested Jan. 30 after he was accused of vandalizing a gun range on his property in Kershaw County during a dispute over the gun ranges lease. He has prior convictions for drug possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to a SLED rap sheet.
Staff writer R. Darren Price contributed.