- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) - A federal judge says the public defender’s office cannot represent former Myrtle Beach Rep. Thad Viers because the office is also representing a potential witness in the case.

Magistrate Judge Thomas Rogers in Florence appointed Trey Cockrell of Chesterfield on Thursday to represent Viers, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach (https://bit.ly/1uMX0pB) reported. Viers faces 14 charges including racketeering-related financial transactions, money laundering and lying to the IRS.

The former Republican lawmaker says he cannot afford an attorney.

The public defender’s office already is representing a man who may be a witness against Viers.

Viers served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2003 until 2012. He was a candidate for the new U.S. House District 7 seat in 2012 before withdrawing after he was charged with stalking a former girlfriend. Viers is on probation from the stalking charge.



He faces up to 145 years in prison if he is convicted of all the charges in the federal case.

Viers would not talk about the case after Thursday’s hearing.

Prosecutors said Viers, a former lawyer, helped a man hide assets from an insurance company that was trying to collect money on a construction bond.

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Information from: The Sun News, https://www.thesunnews.com/

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