S.C. Rep. Crawford Suddenly Resigns House Seat

December 9, 2014

Investigative Reports

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Kris CrawfordIn a surprise announcement today, S.C. Rep. Kris Crawford, R-Florence, said he is resigning from the House, telling The Nerve this afternoon, “Everybody who knows me, for good or bad, knows I do things full speed.”

Asked why he resigned just after being re-elected to the seat he had held since his first election in 2006, Crawford, an emergency room physician, initially replied: “Health care has become a lot more complicated. There’s a lot more administrative work.”

“My heart just really wasn’t in it,” he said, adding later in the interview, “The time has come to focus on my work and family.”

Crawford’s resignation letter, which was addressed to new House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, and received at the House Clerk’s Office at 12:10 p.m. today, reads only, “Please accept this as notice of my resignation from the South Carolina House of Representatives Seat 63.”

Crawford told The Nerve that he began the resignation process last night, resigning from the House Legislative Oversight Committee and the S.C. Child Fatality Advisory Committee. He said after thinking about it more overnight, he decided to resign his House seat today.

“It was disruptive just going in there for two days,” Crawford said, referring to the House’s two-day organizational session last week.

The Nerve reported last week that a special House panel that in late October had recommended a controversial “oath” rule, which was co-sponsored by Crawford, dropped the proposal last week as the House was adopting its rules – a day after a Nerve story questioned the legality of the rule. The proposal would have required anyone testifying before a House committee to be sworn in first – and face a possible felony charge if the testimony was willfully “false, materially misleading, or materially incomplete.”

Contacted this afternoon, Laura Hudson, executive director of the S.C. Crime Victims’ Council and a member the state Child Fatality Advisory Committee, told The Nerve that former House Speaker Bobby Harrell, a Charleston Republican who resigned his long-held seat in October after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds, recently had appointed Crawford to the committee, but that he had missed three meetings without explanation.

Citing the election of Lucas as the new House speaker and new House rules, Crawford told The Nerve, “It looks very different in the House,” adding, “This is a good time for my constituents to get a new representative.”

Crawford was convicted in 2012 on four misdemeanor counts of willfully failing to file state income-tax returns and was ordered to pay $21,380 in fines and costs. He received no jail time and kept his House seat.

Reach Brundrett at (803) 254-4411 or rick@thenerve.org. Follow him on Twitter @thenerve_rick. Follow The Nerve on Facebook and Twitter @thenervesc.