(CN) – The chairman of the South Carolina Senate Ethics Committee who was arrested for driving under the influence and lying to police is now being sued by the 21-year-old woman he is accused of rear-ending on the interstate.
Paul Campbell, 71, a Republican state senator who is also CEO of Charleston International Airport, ran into the rear of Michaela Caddin’s Jeep in congested traffic on Interstate 26 in North Charleston around 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, according to a lawsuit she filed Monday in the Charleston County Court of Common Pleas.
Caddin, represented by Charleston attorneys Matthew Yelverton and D. Scott Drescher, claims Campbell had been drinking alcohol at Charleston City Marina prior to the incident.
Campbell allegedly pulled his 2017 Mercedes in front of her vehicle and then switched seats with his wife.
Caddin claims he attempted to convince her to leave the scene of the accident by exiting to the next off ramp and, after giving her his business card, Campbell asked how she wanted to handle the situation. She says she responded by calling police.
Police said there was a discrepancy between the two parties as to who was in control of Campbell’s vehicle.
After failing a field sobriety test, Campbell was charged with DUI and providing false information to police. His wife was also charged for lying to police, but she was released at the scene.
Campbell was booked in Al Cannon Detention Center and was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .09 percent. Anything over .08 percent is impaired driving in South Carolina.
The lawmaker posted the $1,457 bond and was released the next morning. When questioned outside of the jail, he told reporters that he is innocent and was not the driver of the vehicle.
Since the charges are both misdemeanors, Campbell will not be automatically removed from his South Carolina State Senate seat. He represents Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester Counties, which make up District 44.
Phone calls to Campbell’s office and the South Carolina State Senate were not immediately returned Tuesday.
Caddin seeks punitive damages. One of her attorneys, Yelverton, told the Post and Courier she was “forced to file this lawsuit to restore her good name” after being attacked by social media users and called a liar.