THE “BIG PAYBACK” IS ON …
S.C. circuit court judge Casey Manning will dismiss a public corruption case against embattled House Speaker Bobby Harrell – referring the case back to the S.C. General Assembly’s notoriously corrupt “ethics” committees, sources tell FITS.
Specifically, these sources say Manning will rule that the judicial branch has no jurisdiction in the Harrell matter – that it must go to the same S.C. House Ethics Committee that whitewashed a much stronger public corruption case against S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley in 2012.
That means S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s grand jury investigation of Harrell would come to an end.
South Carolina: Where no evil deed goes punished.
Such a decision – which is expected as early as next week – shouldn’t be viewed as surprising. Manning previously referred Haley’s case to the same committee, arguing that this committee had exclusive jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed by current and former members of the S.C. House.
Also, Harrell went to bat for corrupt S.C. Chief Justice Jean Toal – helping her stave off a recent challenge to her rein of terror over the state’s judicial branch.
It’s obviously not surprising to learn that favor is being returned …
Harrell reportedly paid Charleston, S.C. attorneys Bart Daniel and Gedney Howe $100,000 apiece to represent him in his corruption case. He also engaged in a full-frontal smear campaign against Wilson – seeking to impugn the integrity of the Attorney General’s office.
UPDATE: The clerk for the statewide grand jury has issued a statement, however it does not address reports of Manning’s rumored dismissal of the case. Instead, it addresses Harrell’s ongoing effort to have Wilson removed as the prosecutor on the case.
“On Friday, March 21 a hearing in Richland County was held to determine whether Attorney General Alan Wilson should be disqualified from prosecuting a State Grand Jury investigation involving Bobby Harrell, Speaker of the South Carolina House. At the conclusion of the hearing both sides were directed to submit proposed orders to Judge Manning for review on the matter of possible disqualification. A request was subsequently received from Mr. Harrell’s attorneys to extend the date to Friday, March 28, which was granted and extended to both sides. Following that another request for extension was received from the Attorney General’s office. This request was then granted to both sides. Once both sides have submitted their final briefs a hearing will be scheduled for additional oral arguments. When that hearing date has been scheduled you will be notified.”