Rep. Thad Viers, R-Horry, who is facing a first-degree harassment charge, resigned his post as a House member Wednesday.
“I wish I could say this is a good day for me personally but I have mixed feelings about what I’m about to do,” Viers, 34, said as he stood before his fellow House members this afternoon to announce his resignation.
Viers, an attorney who has already announced that he will not continue his candidacy for the new 7th congressional district and will not run for reelection for his House seat, said he will be indicted by a Marlboro solicitor Thursday regarding an incident involving his former girlfriend.
“I have to do the honorable thing that is right for this institution where I’ve served for a third of my life,” Viers said. He is in his 10th year of House service.
Under House of Representatives rules, House members are automatically suspended if indicted on a felony charge.
Dressed in a dark suit, Viers hugged and shook hands with fellow House members after his announcement. He handed his resignation to House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, before leaving the House floor.
Viers has been largely absent from the State House since he turned himself into Myrtle Beach police Jan. 6 to face a harassment charge involving an ex-girlfriend. The charge is pending.
According to police reports, a woman told police Viers repeatedly called, emailed and showed up at her home after she broke up with him. She told him to stop but he would not, according to an incident report.
The arrest was Viers’ second.
In 2006, he pled no contest and paid a fine over charges that he harassed his ex-wife’s boyfriend. Viers left threatening phone messages on the boyfriend’s answering machine, according to the charges.
Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Horry, said Viers’ situation is unfortunate.
“It’s a sad situation for all parties concerned,” Clemmons said. “I certainly respect his decision. If he thinks an indictment is imminent ... that’s the standup thing for him to do.”
Clemmons said Viers will most be remembered for his work to keep illegal immigrants out of South Carolina. That includes a bill that became law requiring SCbusiness owners to use a national database to check workers’ immigration status.