Republican South Carolina House Speaker Indicted On Nine Charges
South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R) has been indicted by a grand jury on charges related to misuse of his office and campaign finance violations, WCNC reports.
The indictments by the Richland County grand jury were announced on Wednesday, in a case which has lasted 18 months.
[su_center_ad]The Charleston Republican is facing nine charges including two counts of misconduct in office, six counts of using campaign funds for personal use, and one count of false reporting candidate campaign disclosures.
It all began in February 2013 when Ashley Landress of the South Carolina Policy Council, a political group which advocates for smaller government, filed a complaint against Harrell with the State Ethics Commission. She claimed the speaker used his office for personal gain for himself and his family.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson asked the State Law Enforcement Division to look into the matter, and referred it to the state grand jury in January.
Harrell believed the initial complaint and the investigation were politically motivated, and sued to have the investigation done by the House Ethics Committee. His attorney also claimed that Wilson had a bias against him, and wanted him removed from the case.
Wilson brought the grand jury investigation against Harrell but ultimately removed himself from the case. The state Supreme Court ruled Wilson had the authority to investigate, overturning a lower court’s order that a legislative ethics panel must first weigh in on an ethics complaint.
Wilson turned responsibility for the case over to Pascoe, the chief prosecutor for Calhoun, Dorchester and Orangeburg counties.
A bond hearing date has not been set. Harrell, who maintains he’s done nothing wrong, has not commented yet on the indictment.
It’s interesting that the accusations were brought forth by a group in support of smaller government and yet, a Republican stands accused. It would be like Grover Norquist putting the GOP on trial. “Politically motivated” or eating their own?
H/T: My geeky BFF @ComgenKDT with thanks. [su_csky_ad]