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Greene cleared in South Carolina investigation

By Charles Riley and Peter Hamby, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • No charges to be filed against Democratic Senate nominee
  • Alvin Greene came under fire over how he paid for primary filing fee
  • His primary win stunned politicians who had never heard of him
  • Greene faces separate criminal charge

(CNN) -- South Carolina's top law enforcement agency announced Friday that it will not file charges against Democratic Senate nominee Alvin Greene.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) had been investigating how Greene, a political newcomer who could not afford a lawyer when facing criminal charges last year, came up with the $10,440 needed to get his name on the Democratic Senate primary ballot.

"After a thorough investigation, SLED has concluded that there is no evidence of wrongdoing, criminal intent or deception to the court when Greene applied for a public defender last year," the agency said in a statement Friday.

"During the course of the investigation, SLED determined that monies spent for Greene's filing fee were the candidate's personal funds and therefore, no laws were violated in association with Greene's payment to the South Carolina Democratic Party," SLED said.

Greene has long maintained that he tapped into his personal savings to pay the filing fee.

Greene's June 4 Democratic primary victory stunned politicians in the state because they had never heard of him and saw no proof he had mounted any type of campaign. His primary opponent, Vic Rawl, tried to have the election overturned, saying there were voting machine irregularities, but the state party denied the request.

CNN reported earlier Friday that Greene retained a private criminal defense attorney against charges he showed pornographic images to a college student last November.

The existence of those criminal charges surfaced after the primary win. State Democratic leaders called for him to step aside, at the time afraid he would not mount a serious campaign against incumbent Republican Sen. Jim DeMint.

Neither he nor the attorney, Eleazer Carter, will disclose whether Carter is being paid. Carter told CNN he is an acquaintance of Greene's father and took on the case three weeks ago.

Greene has not had to enter a plea, and no trial date has been set. He has remained tight-lipped regarding the charges.

"I'm innocent until proven guilty. And like I said, I'm concentrating on my campaign issues, jobs, education and justice," he told CNN in an interview in his Manning, South Carolina home last month. He refused to answer any more questions regarding the allegations.

Though the law enforcement agency said it determined that Greene used his own money to pay the party's filing fee, the South Carolina attorney general's office told CNN that it never received a request from SLED to subpoena Greene's bank records.

 
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