A Dorchester County grand jury this week issued a direct indictment charging county Republican Party Chairman Jordan David Bryngelson with forgery.
The accusation stemmed from Bryngelson's business dealings through his Ridgeville area company, Bryngelson Construction, authorities said.
Blueline Rental, one of the company's suppliers, filed a complaint last week alleging Bryngelson had forged a representative's signature on a construction document in June, according to the report.
Bryngelson, 33, gained about $2,500 as a result of the forged document, authorities alleged.
Bryngelson was held and released Tuesday on his own personal recognizance, according to sheriff's deputies.
"I learned of this indictment last week and voluntarily accepted service on Tuesday," Bryngelson said in a prepared statement Wednesday. He said he and his attorney have not seen any of the documentation in the case, other than the indictment itself. Bryngelson referred all further comment to his attorney.
In a phone call, his attorney, Russell D. Hilton, said it was too early to comment on the specifics of the case because he hasn't had a chance to review the evidence against Bryngelson. He said he wasn't aware of any prior allegations against Bryngelson concerning his dealings with Blueline Rental.
State Rep. Chris Murphy, R-North Charleston, said he's served as an attorney for Blueline Rental and other affiliated companies for more than a decade.
"This issue was brought to my attention and unfortunately we had to turn it over to law enforcement," Murphy said.
Representatives from the Republican Party declined to discuss Bryngelson's status as chairman, or what the charge means to the future of party operations heading into election season.
"We don't comment on pending legal matters," said Matt Orr, press secretary for the S.C. GOP headquarters in Columbia.
"We're reserving comment right now," added Tony Piscatella, state GOP committeeman for Dorchester County.
Bryngelson recently led the Dorchester County GOP's hosting of Texas Gov. Rick Perry at a local party fundraiser in Summerville that also drew Gov. Nikki Haley and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott. Democrats pounced on the charge coming down after Perry's own legal challenges surfaced in Texas, and as they try to knock off Haley in November.
"Are indictments contagious?" said state Democratic Party spokeswoman Kristin Sosanie. She added "it seems unethical and corrupt behavior is catching among Nikki Haley's closest friends and she's always their biggest defender."
In July, authorities responded to Bryngelson's Tuggle Lane home in Givhans due to a blaze. The home and its contents were a total loss.
Bryngelson and his family were not at home when the fire occurred, according to reports.