Former Coastal Carolina Fair president Dennis Lott wrote a $190,000 check to himself from the fair's account to save the family house, his attorney told a judge Friday night.

Lott, 57, of Goose Creek, is charged with breach of trust and drawing a fraudulent check.

Lott's attorney, Scott Bischoff of Charleston, told Judge Alvin Bligen that Lott did not steal money.

"He used that to make sure his family could stay in their home," he said. "Somebody authorized him to borrow the money."

Lott's house in Goose Creek was in foreclosure and he wrote a check to himself from the fair's account last July to buy it back, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Several of Lott's family members and friends were in bond court to support him, including Coastal Carolina Senior Chaplain Rob Dewey and Charleston County Council Vice Chairman Elliott Summey. Lott's attorney argued that nobody was asking for Lott to stay in jail, he was not a flight risk and the judge should release him on his own recognizance to continue the mental health treatment he has been undergoing.

Bligen said he had some concerns about a personal-recognizance bond because Lott didn't comply with a previous promise to turn himself in after an arrest warrant was issued. Instead, police had to arrest him in Walterboro.

"He was not running," Bischoff responded. "He was just having trouble collecting his thoughts."

Lott has been undergoing treatment since then and will comply with any court orders, his attorney said.

Bligen set Lott's bail at $21,000.

After Lott was arrested last month, fair spokesman Joe Bolchoz said the money was taken from a "rainy day" reserve fund and that the overall account is still "very healthy."

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553