COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — An unemployed military veteran will face no state charges over the $10,440 filing fee for his successful bid to win South Carolina’s Democratic nomination to run for U.S. Senate, the state’s top police official said Friday.
The State Law Enforcement Division also opted not to charge Alvin Greene with misrepresenting his finances to a court, SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd told The Associated Press.
Greene cooperated with agents and Lloyd said he hoped the findings will put questions about Greene’s finances to rest.
Greene, who did no fundraising, won an unexpected victory over former state lawmaker Vic Rawl in the June 8 Democratic primary to face GOP U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint.
Greene had reported just over $1,000 in monthly income on court paperwork and was appointed a public defender to represent him on a pending obscenity charge. His meager finances raised questions about how he paid the required $10,440 fee to run as a U.S. Senate candidate.
But when state agents reviewed Greene’s bank accounts, they found an October deposit of nearly $6,000, which was Greene’s military exit pay, and about $3,000 deposited early this year from state and federal tax refunds, Lloyd said.
The records matched Greene’s story that the 32-year-old candidate, who has been collecting unemployment benefits since he left the military in August, was able to afford the fee because he saved his money and lived frugally.
“He clearly does not have someone paying him. He just decided to take his money and run for U.S. Senate. There’s no big conspiracy,” Lloyd said.
Greene said Friday that SLED’s findings vindicated him.
“It was just as I said: It came from the Army,” Greene said Friday. “I’m happy.”
Lloyd also wanted to look into whether Greene had misrepresented his financial situation in court. In November, a court-appointed attorney was named to represent Greene on a felony charge of showing obscene Internet photos to a University of South Carolina student.
Court records show Greene reported just over $1,000 in monthly income. Last month, Greene notified the court he had retained a private attorney to represent him.
Greene says he didn’t ask for a court-appointed attorney or intend to mislead anyone about his financial situation.
“They just gave me one,” he said Friday.
SLED agents listened to a recording of Greene’s testimony at a hearing and felt he was honest and didn’t try to deceive anyone, Lloyd said.
Rep. Chip Limehouse, the state lawmaker who asked state police to investigate, says he’s not satisfied with their probe and will continue to ask questions about where Greene got the money for his filing fee.
“Did the $10,400 fall out of the sky?” the Republican from Charleston asked Friday. “This doesn’t clear it up for me.”
Democratic Party leaders were stunned by Greene’s 18-point primary victory. After The Associated Press reported Greene’s arrest, they called for him to withdraw from the race.
Greene has declined to comment on the charge in a series of awkward, often terse news interviews. He has not entered a plea or been indicted.
Greene’s victory prompted some to accuse Republicans of having a hand in the election, a charge GOP leaders have repeatedly brushed aside. A Washington-based watchdog group suggested that South Carolina’s top prosecutor should look into whether someone gave money to Greene. Attorney General Henry McMaster, however, says his office has received no evidence supporting that claim.
Greene insists he’s done nothing wrong and is staying in the race.
Multiple theories have surfaced about Greene’s success, including the possibility that voters simply picked the first name on the ballot.
The state Democratic Party’s executive committee has upheld Greene’s victory, nixing a protest that could have required a new vote.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.