The next round of the fight between one of South Carolina’s most powerful politicians and its chief prosecutor will be held in a Columbia courtroom next week.
At least, according to one of the attorneys in the case. Problem is, the other parties involved are not confirming it.
It’s the latest chapter in the unusual public fight between House Speaker Bobby Harrell and the man who sent his ethics case to the State Grand Jury — Attorney General Alan Wilson. Harrell’s attorneys are asking a judge to remove Wilson from the case, claiming a conflict of interest due to Wilson’s previous lobbying the House for a new ethics reform law. One of Harrell’s staffers testified last month that Wilson had offered to drop the ethics case in exchange for Harrell’s support of a new Public Integrity Unit, an accusation Wilson denies.
The Charleston Post & Courier first reported a court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 30 at 10 a.m., quoting Harrell’s attorney Gedney Howe. However, a clerk of court for the State Grand Jury would not confirm the date to reporters, saying they would be notified when a date is set. Wilson’s spokesman said the Attorney General has not been notified of any hearing.
A complaint filed against Harrell last year by the South Carolina Policy Council claimed the Speaker misused campaign funds and used his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives to benefit a pharmaceutical business he owns. Harrell denies the charges, calling them politically motivated.
Circuit Judge Casey Manning is hearing Harrell’s motion to remove Wilson.