Judge: Harrell-Wilson Hearing Must Be Public
OPEN GOVERNMENT GETS A RARE VICTORY IN THE PALMETTO STATE
S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson scored a big victory this week … and so did South Carolinians who believe deliberations about the integrity of their public officials should be, well, public.
S.C. Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning ruled Friday that the public will be allowed to attend a hearing into whether Wilson should be removed as the lead prosecutor in the grand jury investigation of S.C. Speaker Bobby Harrell.
Harrell’s attorneys had hoped to keep the hearing secret …
Good for Manning … and good for Wilson and S.C. Press Association attorney Jay Bender, who fought Harrell lawyers Bart Daniel and Gedney Howe on this issue (and won).
If Harrell’s attorneys have a compelling reason to remove Wilson as prosecutor, then they should make their case in open court. Keeping such deliberations behind closed doors would have only further enhanced our state’s reputation for corruption and opaqueness.
Speaking of … whether this hearing is open or closed, and whether Wilson is on or off the case … Harrell is guilty as sin and should have resigned a long time ago.
In fact we called on Harrell to step down over a year ago.