Couple resign after 50 years with SC pageant

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) -- The couple who have led the Miss South Carolina pageant for 50 years are retiring.

Multiple media outlets reported that the Miss America organization announced late Friday that Joe Sanders III and his wife, Gail, are retiring as president and comptroller of the statewide pageant that is one of 53 organizations licensed by the nationwide group.

A judge in this year's pageant claimed he felt pressured to choose a specific candidate. Another judge and Joe Sanders denied the accusation.

The Miss America organization said it would look into the allegations but didn't mention them in the Sanders' retirement announcement.

Last month, the couple's 46-year-old son was sentenced to 14 years in prison after being convicted of committing a lewd act on a young girl.

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