Sources: Bobby Harrell Will Be Cleared
A report on S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell’s ethics case – currently in the hands of S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson – will not result in the empaneling of a grand jury for the purpose of prosecuting the powerful politician, multiple sources familiar with the inquiry tell FITS.
Wilson – whose office indicted former S.C. Lt. Gov. Ken Ard last month on campaign finance charges – will evidently not pursue the same remedy against Harrell (RINO-Charleston), who stands accused of a host of violations.
“He’s not going to be prosecuted,” one well-placed source in Wilson’s office told FITS, adding “in the criminal world it’s not what you think happened it’s what you can prove happened.”
Instead, Wilson’s office is likely to refer the case to the House Ethics Committee – the same entity which issued a hall pass to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley despite clear and compelling evidence that she broke the law.
Why prosecute one politician and not the other? Easy: Harrell is powerful, Ard is not.
But distinction isn’t on Wilson’s office as much as it is on the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – which was given this case nearly a year ago by the Attorney General and has apparently spent that time figuring out a way to absolve the Speaker despite his extensive misdeeds.
For starters he reimbursed himself more than $325,000 from his campaign account for dubious flight-related expenses (Harrell is a pilot). In fact he has effectively admitted his guilt by returning $23,000 of these reimbursements – although a proper accounting of his flight-related costs would require him to reimburse tens of thousands more.
Harrell also stands accused of applying improper pressure on the S.C. Pharmacy Board and the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (SCLLR) on behalf of his pharmaceutical business – using his official letterhead, no less.
Oh, and his political action committee is also under scrutiny for allegedly misappropriating and misreporting funds - including an effort to force taxpayers to pay hundreds of millions of dollars on an unnecessary transportation project.
Of course Harrell’s abuses pale in comparison to those of Haley – who was caught red-handed illegally lobbying government officials on behalf of her employer (among other offenses).
This website has already called on Harrell to step down - not only because of the allegations against him, but because of how he chose to respond to them. First he lied and refused to release his records. Then he assassinated the character of one of the reporters investigating him – strong-arming her newspaper into backing down by allegedly threatening to withhold an annual $12 million bribe given by the S.C. General Assembly to the newspaper industry.
Again, though, Harrell’s retaliatory self-preservation efforts fall short of those employed by Haley – who threatened to take down lawmakers by exposing their dirty laundry if she was held accountable for her corruption.
Anyway, according to our sources, Wilson’s office will make the announcement regarding Harrell within the next few weeks.