The investigation of Bobby Harrell will go on despite a judge's order, according to Attorney General Alan Wilson's office. file photo
Circuit Judge Casey Manning issued a big break to embattled House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R-Charleston) late Monday, ordering an end to a state grand jury criminal investigation into charges of public corruption against the much-feared legislative boss.
In so doing, Manning ruled that the House Ethics Committee is the proper body for investigating ethics complaints against Harrell, knocking Attorney General Alan Wilson off the case. Advocates for good government have voiced fear over recent months that Manning would issue such a ruling and kick the case back to the House, where Harrell holds inestimable sway.
Wilson’s office issued a terse response to the ruling: “We believe today’s order of Judge Manning is without any foundation or support in the law. This Office will vigorously pursue all appellate remedies and will seek to continue this investigation.”
As Team Harrell has framed the case against the Speaker as a political brawl between an ambitious Wilson and an innocent Bobby, it couldn’t resist rubbing the former’s nose in it.
“This entire process — both the mishandling of this matter and the allegations made — reeks of politics. The Court’s ruling supports what we have said from the start, that these allegations are political and do not rise to the level of criminal wrongdoing, by stating in its ruling that: ‘Despite multiple requests, the Attorney General has failed to offer or present to the Court any evidence or allegations which are criminal in nature.’”
Oddly enough, some courtroom observers remember Wilson’s argument differently. Former Republican attorney general Charlie Condon told The State that Wilson had clearly informed Manning of potential criminal charges that would be outside the House Ethics Committee’s purview of civil ethics violations.
Meanwhile, John Crangle, Common Cause South Carolina’s government watchdog, has sent a letter to the state Supreme Court, suggesting Chief Justice Jean Toal recuse herself from hearing an appeal by Wilson, citing Harrell’s role in her recent re-election to lead the court as a significant conflict of interest.
Wilson told The Associated Press on Tuesday that his office is preparing an appeal as well as considering a request for Manning to reconsider his ruling. He also told The State he would not suspend the investigation as the judge had ordered.
The Other Place at Trustus Theatre
Juliana Smithton is a successful neurologist whose life seems to be coming unhinged. A mystery unfolds as fact blurs with fiction, past collides with present and the elusive truth of Juliana’s mental health boils to the surface in The Other Place, running at Trustus Theatre October 17th through November 1st. There will be a talk-back following the matinee on October 19th. Tickets can be purchased here or by calling the box office at 803-254-9732.
King Lear in Finlay Park
October 16th-18th and 22nd-25th, the South Carolina Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare’s King Lear. All performances held at the Finlay Park Ampitheatre at 7:30 PM. For tickets and more information, click here or call 803-665-2000.
3LAU on Sunday, October 26th and the Unofficial Skrillex Mothership Tour After-Party on the 27th. More information and tickets for both can be found here. VIP tables available.
Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ
Join The Palladium Society Thursday, October 23rd from 7-10 p.m. for its 11th annual silent auction, featuring music by The Mustache Brothers and catering by Bourbon and The Oak Table. Tickets are $30 at the door and include admission, drinks, and food. Get yours online now!
Four Miles, Twelve Doughnuts
Winston’s Wish aims to increase knowledge and understanding of children with autism, and you can help by participating in the 4.donut Race on October 25th. Start at Edventure Children’s Museum, run 2 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat 12 doughnuts, and run back! Registration is required and can be done here before October 23rd at 5 p.m.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local business is searching for new associates who are looking for a fun environment to earn great wages. Great position for college students/recent graduates. Must be well-mannered with excellent customer service skills/work ethic/ability to lift heavy items/must have valid Driver’s License. Call 803-376-4884 or email resume: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cupcake now hiring a closing manager. Must be outgoing, customer service focused, able to work evenings and weekends. Apply in person. 1213 Lincoln Street, Columbia SC 29201. freshcupcakes.com
Currently seeking a friendly & detail-oriented individual for an Administrative Assistant/Data Entry Clerk position on our Administrative Office team. Primary responsibilities include: Data entry, process incoming & outgoing mail, good communication skills required. Contact: email@example.com.
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com