COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Latest on South Carolina lawmakers asking for a perjury investigation against a state worker (all times local):
The lawyer for a state worker under investigation for lying to lawmakers says she had no idea a House committee was going to ask for a perjury probe at its meeting.
The agenda for Wednesday’s House Legislative Oversight Committee only mentioned “discussion of administrative matters,” and attorney Malissa Burnette says Department of Public Safety Human Resources Director Tosha Autry had no idea her situation would be discussed.
At a May 5 meeting of the subcommittee reviewing the agency, lawmakers played a tape of Autry saying there were times when it was OK to lie.
Burnette says Autry was blindsided after gathering a tremendous amount of information for the committee and misspoke. Burnette says she tried to say sometimes human resources information workers can’t tell everything they know.
Burnette says an agency review cleared Autry.
The House Legislative Oversight Committee is asking the attorney general to determine whether a Department of Public Safety official lied to lawmakers and should face a felony charge.
If Human Resources Director Tosha Autry is charged with perjury and convicted, she could face up to five years in prison.
At a May 5 meeting of the subcommittee reviewing the agency, lawmakers played a tape of Autry saying there were times when it was OK to lie. She says the comment was misunderstood and she was saying human resources information workers sometimes can’t tell everything they know.
The department reviewed the tape and investigated Autry. It says she used a poor choice of words in trying to relay keeping confidential information secret, but she did not tell employees to be dishonest.
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