Simpsonville mayor says he has no plans to resign after arrest - FOX Carolina 21

Simpsonville mayor says he has no plans to resign after arrest

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Perry Eichor at his bond hearing on Tuesday. (April 22, 2014/FOX Carolina) Perry Eichor at his bond hearing on Tuesday. (April 22, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Eichor is facing charges for obstruction of justice, intimidation of a court official/juror/witness, misconduct in office/malfeasance, according to the court. (April 22, 2014/FOX Carolina) Eichor is facing charges for obstruction of justice, intimidation of a court official/juror/witness, misconduct in office/malfeasance, according to the court. (April 22, 2014/FOX Carolina)
FOX Carolina has reached out to SLED and the city of Simpsonville for comment on Eichor's arrest. (April 22, 2014/FOX Carolina) FOX Carolina has reached out to SLED and the city of Simpsonville for comment on Eichor's arrest. (April 22, 2014/FOX Carolina)
Mugshot of Perry Eichor (Source: Greenville County Detention Center website) Mugshot of Perry Eichor (Source: Greenville County Detention Center website)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

State investigators arrested the mayor of Simpsonville on Tuesday, but he said he has no plans to resign.

The State Law Enforcement Division filed charges against Perry Eichor on obstruction of justice, intimidation of a court official/juror/witness and misconduct in office/malfeasance, according to the court.

SLED said they arrested Eichor "in connection with implied threats against a municipal court judge."

"I'm 79 years old. I'm a  little old to be threatening anyone," said Eichor following Tuesday's city council meeting.

Residents said they were "annoyed" the arrest was not even brought up during the meeting. The mayor declined to comment further on the case, citing advice from his attorney. He said he had no plan to resign, and was unaware of any plans by Gov. Nikki Haley to suspend him.

The case will be prosecuted by the 13th Circuit Solicitor's Office in Greenville, according to SLED.

"Although it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the specifics of a pending criminal matter, I can confirm that Mr. Perry Eichor has been charged with one count of misconduct in office, obstruction of justice and intimidation of a court official following a SLED investigation," 13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said. "As is customary, my office will be meeting with SLED investigators in the coming weeks to review the evidence in the case to determine what, if any, additional investigation is required."

Haley's office said once they get the proper paperwork and review it, Eichor could be suspended immediately, pending the outcome of a trial. A spokesperson for the solicitors office said the earliest the suspension could take place is in May as his charges will not go before the grand jury until then.

The governor's office said it will be up to the city of Simpsonville to handle replacing Eichor, if he is suspended.

The solicitor's office said the crime of misconduct in office and obstruction of justice are common law misdemeanors, with a maximum sentence of up to 10 years. The crime of intimidation of a court official is a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years or a fine up to $10,000, the solicitor's office said.

Rick Moore, the chief municipal judge for the city of Simpsonville, released the following statement:

"We are aware of the charges filed against Mayor Eichor Tuesday by SLED. We will have no comment about the matter as it concerns an ongoing investigation by agents with SLED and the solicitor's office as well as the fact that it is not a city of Simpsonville charge.

"From the perspective of the Simpsonville City Court, it will be business as usual, and that business is the proper administration of justice for the citizens of Simpsonville."

Police Chief Keith Grounsell said his department had nothing to do with the case or arrest.

Eichor was given a $5,000 personal recognizance bond and was released on Tuesday afternoon.

Residents packed out Simpsonville's regularly scheduled City Council meeting Tuesday night, where some said they were shocked by news of Eichor's arrest and other said they were hopeful for the city's future.

Eichor was in attendance, but his arrest was not discussed. He said his arrest did not need to be brought up as it was not outlined on the meeting's agenda, which is legally what could be discussed - much to the crowd's chagrin.

In addition to Judge Moore's statement, FOX Carolina reached out to Simpsonville's three municipal judges, who were either unavailable or did not want to comment on the case.

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