Former Richland County Councilman Kelvin Washington did not appear in court for his felony DUI charge Monday morning as originally scheduled.
The 5th Circuit Solicitor's Office excused Washington's first appearance and set his second appearance for June 30, Washington's attorney Mike Duncan said.
Duncan said first appearances are used for scheduling purposes, and that it's normal for the solicitor's office to excuse a first appearance when a defendant already has an attorney.
Washington was charged with felony DUI after a crash on Bluff Road on Feb. 27. He was indicted on that charge by a Richland County grand jury March 16.
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Also on March 16, Gov. Nikki Haley signed an executive order declaring Washington’s Lower Richland council seat vacant because Washington had recently been convicted of failure to file state income tax returns for three years.
Under state law, the governor has the authority to declare vacant the seat of any county or state official “convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude,” according to the governor’s office. Moral turpitude is defined as “behavior that gravely violates ... accepted moral standards of (a) community,” according to Black’s Law Dictionary.
Failure to pay income taxes is a crime involving moral turpitude, Haley’s office said.