The S.C. Supreme Court sided today with state Attorney General Alan Wilson in the debate over whether a state grand jury can continue to investigate House Speaker Bobby Harrell over ethics allegations.
After a ruling last week by Circuit Judge Casey Manning that Wilson must drop the investigation and send the matter to the House Ethics Committee, Wilson vowed to continue the investigation anyway, arguing that state statute gives him that authority.
Today, the Court backed Wilson, ruling that a motion filed by Wilson with the court to stay Manning’s ruling was “unnecessary,” and confirming that Wilson has the authority to continue with the grand jury investigation while the Manning order is on appeal.
Wilson spokesman Mark Powell says the ruling “speaks for itself.”
Harrell maintains that Wilson is acting out of “political motivations” and that the state grand jury investigation is therefore tainted. Harrell has filed a motion asking the state Supreme Court to halt the investigation until the appeals process is finished.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original form to reflect a clarification of Wilson’s position on the court’s action and the incorporation of a statement received from Harrell’s office after the original story was published.