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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Two women who worked for former state Sen. Dick Elliott say he fondled them at his North Myrtle Beach realty office.

The women say in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that the 78-year-old Democrat grabbed their breasts in separate incidents earlier this year. One woman said she told her boss, Elliott's son, who said his father's behavior was due to illness.

Elliott served 30 years in the state House and Senate before retiring last year. He represented parts of coastal Horry County and the Pee Dee. He also previously served on North Myrtle Beach City Council and Horry County Council.

Gov. Nikki Haley awarded Elliott the Order of the Palmetto on the last day of the legislative session last year.

A message left Tuesday at Elliott's realty office wasn't immediately returned.

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