The South Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday allowed an investigation into one of South Carolina’s most powerful politicians to continue while the case is being appealed.
The court said state law allows the State Grand Jury to continue its investigation of House Speaker Bobby Harrell even after a lower judge’s order dismissed the investigation last week. In that order, Judge Casey Manning ruled that the House Ethics Committee must first handle the complaint against the Speaker.
State Attorney General Alan Wilson had filed a writ of supersedeas while the case is appealed, noting that state law allows the State Grand Jury to “continue exercising its powers” while the appeal is considered.
Judge Manning ruled last week that the State Grand Jury was incorrectly empaneled and that the complaint must first be considered by the House Ethics Committee. Wilson has said he believes the committee will have a conflict of interest due to Harrell’s influence in the chamber. He maintains the Ethics Act gives his office the power to investigate any state official on a criminal matter. Harrell has said he believes Judge Manning ruled correctly and that the investigation against him is politically motivated.
Both sides are to make their case before the Supreme Court on June 24.