Former State Rep. Nelson Hardwick has pleaded guilty to assault and battery in the 3rd degree after an incident in which he sexually harassed a female staffer, according to Richland County court documents.
Hardwick, who was indicted in October 2015, pleaded guilty to the charge on Nov. 18. Earlier court documents charging him with official misconduct in office say he “did abuse his position and power over staff of the House of Representatives to lure an employee to his office and inappropriately touch her against her will.”
He was ordered to pay a fine of $300 and paid a total of $747.50, a sum of that fine and other fees, the day of court, according to the documents.
Hardwick could not be reached by phone. The office of L. Morgan Martin, the attorney representing Hardwick, told The Sun News he was in court Friday morning.
Hardwick’s former district covers Surfside Beach, Garden City and some neighborhoods around Burgess. He resigned from his seat in May 2015, as an investigation by the House Speaker’s office turned into a criminal probe.
A former attorney for Hardwick, Henrietta Golding, said shortly after he resigned that Hardwick would fight the charges.
Russell Fry, a Surfside resident and lawyer for the Coastal Law Firm, won Hardwick’s former seat in a special election on Sept. 15, 2015.