Myrtle Beach attorney Robert “Shep” Guyton will face 167 charges of ethics violations sometime after April 1, when new members will be seated on the S.C. State Ethics Commission.
Michael Burchstead, general counsel for the commission, said in an email Monday that there was discussion of rescheduling Guyton’s hearing for March but no firm date was ever set. The new date will be “in the near future,” Burchstead wrote.
“As conducting a hearing in this particular matter will take significant staff preparation time, it seemed prudent to allow a longer period of time to prepare the case,” Burchstead wrote.
Guyton was originally scheduled to go before the commission in February, and faces a maximum fine of $2,000 per charge. His case is the oldest on the commission’s docket, Burchstead said.
Guyton, the former chair of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, is accused of exceeding personal campaign contribution limits in 2009 by moving money through corporations controlled by him to candidates and other political groups, according to ethics commission documents. He was previously under investigation by the FBI and IRS, who declined, last year, to pursue criminal charges.
Guyton’s ethics charges also state that he broke contribution limits as money was routed to candidates including Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes, Councilman Wayne Gray, former Councilman Chuck Martino, Councilman Randal Wallace, State Sen. Ray Cleary, State Rep. Alan Clemmons, former State Rep. Thad Viers and Gubernatorial candidate Gresham Barrett.
The hearing will be closed unless Guyton requests otherwise, but the commission’s decision on the charges will be public.