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ELECTION 2014: Divorce documents reveal financial problems for SC Rep. Andy Patrick

01/26/2014 11:09 AM

01/26/2014 11:11 AM

Seems like S.C. Rep. Andy Patrick, a Republican candidate for state superintendent of education, has a bit of legal and marital trouble.

The (Hilton Head) Island Packet reports that Patrick's divorce case is revealing problems for the former U.S. Secret Service agent:

A divorce case involving Hilton Head Island Rep. Andy Patrick paints a picture of a politician who spent beyond his means, whose four children are on food stamps and Medicaid, and who now lives outside of his district in a fellow legislator’s guest house.

Patrick, who recently announced he is running for state superintendent of education, also figures in a lawsuit that alleges he took for himself money that a relative intended to be used for a down payment on a home in Spanish Wells for Patrick and his wife, Amee. Patrick also “cheated (a former business partner) out of monies due,” ultimately having to settle for about $35,000 to avoid a lawsuit, according to an affidavit from Amee Patrick and interviews with two other people familiar with the situation.

Andy Patrick declined to be interviewed for this story. He said an interview might be possible on Thursday, after a hearing in Family Court.

His lawyer, Norman D. Brannon, a fellow House of Representatives member from Spartanburg, said claims in Amee Patrick’s affidavit are “crap”; that Andy Patrick can’t live in a home in the district because Amee Patrick removed all the furnishings from it; and that he is “an incredibly caring and loving father.”

The Patricks separated in May 2013. Documents on the divorce case are in a closed file in the Family Court clerk’s office in Beaufort. Family Court Judge Peter Fuge said he sealed the file — an unusual measure — during a July 2013 hearing at the request of Patrick’s lawyer and with the consent of a lawyer then representing Amee Patrick. Amee Patrick did not participate in the hearing, says she did not want the file sealed then and wants it open now.

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A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to Follow The Buzz @buzzatthestate. Follow Cassie @cassielcope. Follow Jamie @jamiemself. Follow Andy @andyshain.

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