House Speaker Bobby Harrell (Source: bobbyharrell.com)
COLUMBIA, SC (AP) -
A judge has dismissed a case involving House Speaker Bobby Harrell.
Circuit Judge Casey Manning said in a ruling issued Monday the courts system is not the appropriate venue for the case.
The State Grand Jury has been considering whether Harrell should be indicted on allegations he used his influence for his own personal benefit.
Manning's decision is similar to one he previously made regarding ethics allegations against Gov. Nikki Haley, a former House member. The House Ethics Committee ultimately cleared her of all charges.
Harrell's lawyers argued their client's case should be dealt with identically. Attorney General Alan Wilson had said the Harrell matter is criminal and therefore must be dealt with in court.
Wilson said in a statement he would appeal and seek to continue the investigation.
House Speaker Bobby Harrell issued the following statement:
Despite the Attorney General's press release, as of this moment, we have received no notice from the court that an order as officially been filed. This wouldn't be the first time the Attorney General's Office has issued a press release improperly - It is similar to how they have issued press releases about 'secret' grand jury proceedings.
We have said from the beginning that this entire investigation has been politically driven. The Attorney General's statement this afternoon confirms that fact. The constitution and state statutes are clear on these issues. Rather than discussing the merits of the case, the Attorney General continues to play politics.
This investigation has continued now for 15 months. I again call on the Attorney General to release the SLED report. There is no legitimate reason for him to continue to keep it a secret from the public.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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