Island council member Ferguson hospitalized in Charleston

Hilton Head Island Town Councilman Bill Ferguson was hospitalized Tuesday at the VA Hospital in Charleston for an undetermined period of time, according to a document filed by his attorney in Beaufort County Magistrate Court.

Ferguson, 63, and his wife, Linda, 58, were scheduled to attend a hearing May 11 at the County Courthouse related to domestic-violence charges both face stemming from an argument Jan. 10 at their home.

Ferguson, who has represented Ward 1 since 1993, was charged with felony criminal domestic violence high and aggravated. Linda Ferguson, a teacher at M.C. Riley Elementary School in Bluffton, was charged with misdemeanor criminal domestic violence.

Ferguson's attorney, William G. Jenkins Jr., requested the hearing be postponed, based on his client's hospitalization. Court documents do not say why Ferguson was hospitalized.

Ferguson apologized April 19 for accosting fellow council member George Williams Jr. before an April 5 meeting, citing health concerns. Ferguson, a Vietnam veteran, is diabetic.

He also asked Mayor Drew Laughlin to relieve him of committee duties because his doctors directed him to reduce stress. Laughlin agreed.

"I have been battling significant health issues that have their root in my military service. Since 1970, I have been seeking help for these conditions," Ferguson said at the time, but did not elaborate.