Departing S.C. House Ethics Committee chairman accepts government affairs consulting job

State Rep. Kenny Bingham (pictured) is suing Columbia-area blogger Will Folks for defamation for a series of articles published in 2014 and 2015 concerning an ethics investigation and Statehouse corruption probe, according to court filings. File

COLUMBIA — Cayce state Rep. Kenny Bingham has accepted a government affairs consulting job with a New Orleans-based law firm.

Bingham, a Republican, will leave the S.C. House of Representatives this year after serving 16 years, opting not to seek re-election. He said he will consult while still running his engineering company, American Engineering Consultants Inc.

Bingham will serve as a leading adviser to the firm Adams and Reese’s government relations practice team. The business has 16 offices across the South.

The House Ethics Committee chairman said he worked with attorneys to ensure he did not violate any rules while negotiating the consulting job. Bingham will be assisting the firm’s clients as they navigate the state’s regulatory system or policy matters, said Adams and Reese partner Rob Bethea. The clients can include individuals and companies.

Bingham said he did not need to resign his seat in order to take the position.

“Your power as a House member is vested in your power to act as a House member, which is voting,” he said. “And there are no votes pending before the House.”

According to state law, a former elected official must wait one year before serving as a lobbyist or accepting employment if it “involves a matter in which the former public official, former public member, or former public employee directly and substantially participated during his public service or public employment.”

Bingham said he will not be lobbying for the firm.

Reach Maya T. Prabhu at 843-509-8933.