SC Sikh Temple Sues Blogger
GOVERNOR NIKKI HALEY’S ATTORNEYS FILE SUIT AGAINST PALMETTO PUBLIC RECORD WEBSITE
The embattled Sikh Temple run by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s father, Ajit S. Randhawa, has filed a libel lawsuit against a South Carolina political blogger and two of his unnamed sources.
The Sikh Religious Society of South Carolina filed its suit on May 22 against the Palmetto Public Record, a blog run by former WIS TV 10 (NBC – Columbia, S.C.) new media editor Logan Smith. Also named in the suit? A pair of “John Does” who are presumed to be the blog’s sources for its explosive (and as yet unrealized) allegation that Haley was facing “imminent” indictment for tax fraud.
On March 29, Palmetto Public Record dropped a bombshell by suggesting that Haley was on the verge of being indicted for tax fraud as it related to “missing money” at the Sikh Temple.
“Two well-placed legal experts have independently told Palmetto Public Record they expect the U.S. Department of Justice to issue an indictment against South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on charges of tax fraud as early as this week,” the website reported. “A highly ranked federal official has also privately confirmed rumblings of an investigation and possible indictment of the governor, though the official was not aware of the specific timeframe (sic).”
The report quickly went viral – prompting furious denials from the governor. In fact as recently as this week Haley was still griping at local reporters for picking up the story.
Our sources – who have been following the Sikh Temple investigation from the very beginning – never said that a Haley indictment was imminent, although they have consistently said that her father faces “significant exposure” as a result of the scandal.
Remember, when this website reports that an indictment is imminent … it happens.
FITS first uncovered evidence of financial irregularities at the temple in November 2010 – the day before Haley was elected governor. Several months later – in April 2011 – we reported that federal agents were asking questions about the temple’s finances based on information provided to them by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). More recently, we’ve been told that this federal investigation has expanded to cover Haley’s family finances – and that Haley’s father is a central figure in the probe.
Incidentally, the Sikh Temple is being represented in its suit by Haley attorneys Kevin Hall and Butch Bowers.