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Lawyer: State senator should resign if he lied about crash

Sen. Paul Campbell is seen in an undated photo provided by the Charleston County Jail. Troopers say Campbell, a South Carolina senator charged with driving under the influence, had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit on Saturday night, Nov. 4. Campbell told troopers investigating the crash and reporters later that his wife was driving. Authorities say the 71-year-old Goose Creek Republican switched seats with his wife after the wreck. They are both charged with providing false information. (Charleston County Jail via AP)
November 07, 2017 - 10:46 AM

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The lawyer for a woman whose car was hit by a state senator charged with driving under the influence said Tuesday that the lawmaker should resign if he lied to state troopers.

Attorney Matt Yelverton and the woman whose car Sen. Paul Campbell crashed into Saturday night on Interstate 26 near Charleston held a news conference as a fender bender turned into one of the most closely watched wrecks in South Carolina in years.

The intrigue increased significantly after troopers also charged Campbell and his wife with providing false information.

Michaela Caddin said Tuesday that after the crash, Campbell's Mercedes pulled off the highway in front of her and she watched as Campbell got out of the driver's side, his wife got out of the passenger seat and they switched places.

"I was raised to believe that ethics, honesty and accountability are important," the 21-year-old administrative worker said, reading from a statement.

Campbell has insisted in several interviews that he was not driving and he expects the truth to come out at trial. Campbell's attorney, Andy Savage, didn't respond to an email message after Tuesday's news conference.

There are cameras along the interstate near the crash and Yelverton said he would like to see the footage, but none has been released.

When Caddin was asked what she wanted out of Campbell, her lawyer said she wanted the senator to take responsibility for his actions and be held to a higher standard for honesty because of his public position.

"Personally, I think a public official, if in fact, lied to law enforcement, he should resign," Yelverton said.

Both charges against Campbell are misdemeanours, and senators can only be automatically suspended when charged with felonies.

The 71-year-old Republican from Goose Creek joined the Senate in 2007 and is chairman of the Ethics Committee. He also is chief executive of the authority that runs the Charleston International Airport.

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Follow Jeffrey Collins at http://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP. See his work at https://apnews.com/search/jeffrey%20collins

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
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