House Speaker Bobby Harrell dropped a bomb on South Carolina politics over the weekend, announcing at a House Republican Caucus retreat that a grand jury investigation into him has ended and Attorney General Alan Wilson has recused himself from the case. Wilson’s office has not confirmed Harrell’s announcement, saying simply, “We are unable to comment because the Supreme Court order directs that we are not to disclose these matters.” The Post and Courier, which broke the news, quotes Harrell saying, “I said from the beginning I just wanted somebody to look at this who was independent and didn’t have political motives ... and I hope this accomplishes that.”
It was freshman U.S. Rep. Tom Rice of South Carolina who came up with the idea of suing President Obama — an idea U.S. House Republican leadership has been running with. McClatchy talks with Rice, who filed a bill in December proposing a lawsuit against the president for a variety of perceived abuses of executive power. House leadership decided to write a separate bill with a narrower scope; it recently won approval of a majority of the House.
The State got a hold of some confidential court documents in the case of Robert Guinyard, the 4-year-old boy murdered by his parents last year. The case drew broad attention because Guinyard had previously been in custody of the Department of Social Services; advocates said the agency failed to protect the boy, as it has failed other children. The documents show Guinyard’s parents faced allegations of child abuse and neglect for several year before Guinyard was even born. However, it also backs up DSS’ assertions that they’d tried to have Guinyard adopted, but that his court-appointed advocates opposed that move.
A man from Prosperity, South Carolina won the top prize in the Forrest Wood Cup, a massive bass fishing tournament hosted in Columbia and at Lake Murray over the weekend. He’ll take home half a million dollars.
The state’s unemployment rate grew slightly in July, from 5.3 percent the previous month to 5.7 percent. Richland County’s rate is 6.6 percent, up from just 6 percent the month before, but down from 7.7. percent last July.