GOVERNOR ACCUSES HOUSE SPEAKER OF “MEDDLING” IN ETHICS INVESTIGATION
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has accused House Speaker Bobby Harrell (RINO-Charleston) of “meddling” in an investigation into her controversial (and likely illegal) pre-gubernatorial employment – allegations that came as Haley herself was being accused of improperly (and illegally) attempting to short-circuit the investigation.
In fact one member of the House Ethics Committee – which is currently investigating the governor – has been asked to recuse himself from further involvement in the probe in light of alleged political pressure being applied by Haley.
These dueling claims came as overwhelming evidence was presented to the House Ethics Committee indicating that Haley was employed by Lexington Medical Center from 2008-10 – meaning she lied to committee members when she claimed to have been employed by the hospital’s nonprofit foundation.
Why does this distinction matter?
Lexington Medical Center is a registered lobbyist principal that was actively lobbying state government to approve of a new heart center when it hired Haley. In fact despite her claims to the contrary, Haley was openly lobbying on behalf of the new heart center while she was being paid by the hospital.
(To read our extensive report on all of this, click here).
Haley’s advocacy on behalf of the heart center would have been fine – even expected – had she not been getting paid more than $110,000 a year by the hospital.
In addition to multiple documents contained in a new memo from GOP fundraiser John Rainey – who has been investigating Haley for more than a year – W-2 forms and pay stubs from Lexington Medical Center further drove home the point regarding Haley’s employment.
Obviously that’s not a new revelation (we reported on Haley’s true income source over a year ago) – nor is Haley and Harrell’s feud.
The notoriously think-skinned Speaker removed Haley from her powerful perch as a member of the House Labor Commerce and Industry (LCI) committee in 2008 after she pushed repeatedly for more recorded votes.
Having said that, Haley’s allegation against Harrell strikes us as an attempt to change the narrative at a time when things were moving against her.
It’s also no doubt a reminder to Harrell that the governor is more than willing to go after him and other GOP leaders in the event they move forward with the investigation.
Will Haley’s ploy work?
We shall see … so far she has been successful in blocking a full probe of the ethics charges against her.