State Rep. Stephen Goldfinch responded angrily Sept. 12, to calls that he step down over allegations that a company he owned illegally sold stem cells.
“Democrat Vida Miller is playing politics with the voters of Georgetown County for her own political advancement. She realizes her only chance in this race is to assassinate my character. This is gutter politics, pure and simple,” Goldfinch said.
The S.C. Democratic Party on Sept. 12 issued a news release claiming that Goldinch had been charged with illegally selling fetal stem cells, that he lied about it twice and calling on Goldfinch to quit.
Goldfinch said that the incidents the Democrats reference happened when he was a student, did not involve fetal stem cells and rather than lying about the charges, has cooperated with officials investigating the case.
As a student at the Citadel over a decade ago, Goldfinch said he started his own company, a biotechnology research company.
As the company grew, it hired an unethical contractor, who illegally sold umbilical cord blood stem cells without Goldfinch’s knowledge.
“The contractor, along with the people he sold the cells to have been indicted for their actions. I have not been indicted,” Goldfinch said.
However, as president of the company, Goldfinch was charged in December by federal prosecutors in Houston with one count of misbranded drugs.
The freshman lawmaker from Murrells Inlet owned the company that “illegally sold stem cells to a Texas man who used the material improperly,” Goldfinch said.
“My company was to prove the efficacy of umbilical stem cells over that of embryonic stem cells,” Goldfinch said. “We never touched, we never banked, we never sold fetal stem cells. I believed there were less ethically charged opportunities. I believe that the Democrats are framing this as fetal to inflame the voters, knowing it’s not true.”
Charles Reid, the clerk of the state House, said that the charges do not require Goldfinch to step down.
“South Carolina law does not require Representative Goldfinch to suspend himself or step down,” Reid said last week, responding to the charges by the Democratic Party.
Goldfinch faces Democrat Vida Miller in the November general election. Miller served 14 years in the House.