SC

Bobby Harrell Responds To Indictment

With a criminal trial looming, calls for his resignation building and his “Republican” colleagues jockeying for his job, S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell addressed the public corruption charges against him – specifically his indictment on nine counts of campaign finance-related offenses. “I have said all along that I…

With a criminal trial looming, calls for his resignation building and his “Republican” colleagues jockeying for his job, S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell addressed the public corruption charges against him – specifically his indictment on nine counts of campaign finance-related offenses.

“I have said all along that I have never intentionally violated any law, and I still strongly believe that statement to be accurate,” Harrell said in a statement.

The embattled Speaker referred to the charges against him as mistakes, not crimes – including accounting errors that were “easily addressed.”

“In no way have I ever benefited personally or financially from travel reimbursements from my campaign account,” he said. “In fact, I have regularly used the privately raised funds from my campaign account to pay for official state travel instead of passing that cost along to taxpayers. Similarly, I have often used my own airplane, at no cost to the taxpayers, for official state travel when it would have been completely justifiable to have used the taxpayer-funded state plane instead. If over the course of four years, I mistakenly wrote down the wrong date on a handful of items, that is something that can easily be addressed.”

In addition to his own statement, Harrell’s office released a comment from one of his attorneys – Bart Daniel.

“As a former federal and state prosecutor and current defense lawyer, I have prosecuted and defended cases involving the offense of ‘Common Law Misconduct in Office,'” Daniel said.  “It is clearly a misdemeanor and has always been considered as such.”

Daniel also produced a 1967 Attorney General’s opinion affirming his contention.

The distinction is critical.

By referring to the allegations contained in the indictment as errors – and having his attorney stress that they should be classified as misdemeanors, not felonies – Harrell is clearly signaling his intention to fight any effort to suspend him as Speaker of the House.

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66 comments

Retired Soldier September 10, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Lock his ass up and throw away the keys we need to clean house in the next elections starting with Haley.

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Prometheus September 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm

We desperately need RECALL elections in this State. Many State’s have them and we need one too. We have the foxes guarding the hen house and the elected legislature Policing themselves! THIS NEEDS TO END!!!!!
I WILL NOT VOTE FOR AN INCUMBENT, STARYING WITH HALEY!!!!!!!!!

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Q September 10, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Bills for voter recall have been submitted before to the House. Needless to say, they died. Need I say why?

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Deo Vindice SC September 10, 2014 at 9:36 pm

Damn right, 10 years after.

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Rebel September 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Our prayers are with the Pinson and Harrell family, too bad we can not yet include the Benjamin family family in our prayers. 2 down many more to go.

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CorruptionInColumbia September 10, 2014 at 5:18 pm

“I’m innocent. I ain’ done nuffin.”

“JEAN, WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU????”

“JEAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

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Yippy Do Da September 10, 2014 at 5:46 pm

HAHAHAHAAHAHA!

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Smirks September 10, 2014 at 6:17 pm

Check around the bars for damaged park cars tonight.

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(*)(*) September 10, 2014 at 7:34 pm

hahahaaha!! …. You know she is worried now. And so is Casey Manning.

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Guero September 11, 2014 at 5:42 am

That’s a particularly ignorant remark. Neither of these judges is running for re-election. Neither has any social, professional, or business dealings with Harrell.

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Sconset987 September 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Harrell should remember that the no big deal defense didn’t turn out too well for Bob McDonnell in Virginia. But, all of Harrell’s charges are misdemeanors. McDonnell’s were felonies. So, I suppose that is good for Harrell. But, from a practical political perspective, his career in elective office is over.

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SCCOL - US CODE September 10, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Felonies, Sconset …. Felonies, too.

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William Wallace September 10, 2014 at 5:33 pm

“Bobby Harrell responds to indictment”……..wwwaaaaaaa,wwaaaaa, sobb, sooobbb, snort, sniffle, waahaahaa, sobbing uncrollably,,wawawawawawa, choke wawa.

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What's up September 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Well that is nothing, MUSC just appointed a new interim dean who was making 400-500k per year in monies not reported in her conflict of interest statement. Pisano fired last week and moved out rapidly. Seems lots going on down there.

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Annie September 10, 2014 at 9:27 pm

Etta Pisano single handedly destroyed MUSC. Drove so many good faculty away and did so in such a short time. No longer nationally ranked for any speciality. Bankrupted MUSC as well. Now she’s taking a year sabbatical on state money. What a way to f-ck the taxpayer!

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Say What? September 10, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Annie: you know nothing. Any staff that is gone needed to go. MUSC is still nationally ranked in many specialties. MUSC had a very good year and is not bankrupt. You need to get your facts straight before you slander or liable MUSC and it’s leadership.

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Nitpicker September 11, 2014 at 11:29 am

It’s “libel,” not “liable,” but we get the point. Annie could be liable for libel though.

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Say What? September 10, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Annie: you know nothing. Any staff that is gone needed to go. MUSC is still nationally ranked in many specialties. MUSC had a very good year and is not bankrupt. You need to get your facts straight before you slander or liable MUSC and it’s leadership.

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Happy Day in South Carolina September 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

Harrell Reacts (not responds)
Harrell: — from “I have done nothing wrong” – to > “I have never intentionally …. “

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Smirks September 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm

The next step is “I haven’t done anything intentionally wrong that I can recall…

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RHood2 September 10, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Sorry, Roger Goddell already used the “that I can recall” line today. It is limited to one a day, right?

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Happy Day in South Carolina September 10, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Sorry Harrell … you baboon … Ignorance of the Law is No Excuse ….. especially in your case.

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Happy Day in South Carolina September 10, 2014 at 5:43 pm

When Will Harrell Be Arrested? That is the next step here.

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Happy Day in South Carolina September 10, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Daniels will go down with the ship.

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Happy Day in South Carolina September 10, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Bart Daniel’s 1967 Attorney General Opinion … blows dust off the almost FIVE DECADES (50) year old crumbling document ,,,,, . It’s just an opinion. that’s all. Hey Bart? Are you still trying to use Windows 95????

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TontoBubbaGoldstein September 10, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Hey Bart? Are you still trying to use Windows 95????

Commodore 64
From Radio Shack.
(A Tandy company.)

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euwe max September 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm

There’s *nothing* you can’t do with 64k! .. and a full 8″ floppy disk caddy.

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Yep! September 10, 2014 at 9:45 pm

I started with a Vic-20 as a kid…and a tape player…when I finally got a 64 I felt I had “arrived”…lol

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euwe max September 11, 2014 at 12:19 am

I hacked in to “Wilbur” at Texas Tech in 1980 with a TRS-80 Model II, and added myself to a class of BA students so I could run WATFOR jobs with no time limit so I could debug my EE Fortran programs before submitting them. They gave us a total of one second of CPU time on the 360.

Now, I have a 2600k Intel Processor overclocked to 4.4GHz with 20GB of memory, 3 flat screen monitors, 5 TB of storage, another Windows 7 64 bit machine, a 64 bit laptop with 1TB storage and 8GB memory, all networked with a Ubuntu Linux server, printer, 2 band 300Mbs wifi, 30 Mb/s ISP down and 5 Mb/s up, Visual Studio .Net 2013 C# compiler, IAR Arm cross compiler and embedded debugger attatched to an NXP 3250 with 256k of memory running at 240Mhz….

and this shit is slow as molasses!

The Colonel September 11, 2014 at 10:09 am

This post, more than any other goes a long way towards explaining the “Max” behind the mask.

euwe max September 11, 2014 at 10:32 am

Someday I’ll fill you in on the suicide mission in Croatia. Assmanistan.

The Colonel September 11, 2014 at 11:50 am

Real or virtual?

euwe max September 11, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I was watching the expendables.

The Colonel September 11, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Ahhhh

CorruptionInColumbia September 11, 2014 at 8:21 am

I hear rumors that Tandy Leather is going to introduce a Jenny Sanford doll. Supposedly, you work the leather, stretch it, and form it to make her face and other epidermal features.

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BoaterVoter September 10, 2014 at 6:02 pm

1967? You have got to be kidding me. The prosecutor was not even born when that opinion came out. Come on Bart you are better than that. That should be the first sign Bobby is going down.

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Smirks September 10, 2014 at 6:10 pm

I have said all along that I have never intentionally violated any law, and I still strongly believe that statement to be accurate

Let me guess: “My heart and my best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not.”

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euwe max September 11, 2014 at 9:45 am

I have said all along that I can’t believe I will ever be caught.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein September 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm

PERRY/HARRELL 2016!

PRO TIP (for the GOP):
Go big or go home.

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euwe max September 11, 2014 at 9:44 am

[shock]

what… what about Palin/Bachmann?

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Edema September 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm

I bet no jail time. LOFTIS is next ….. Good luck putting cuffs over those hands!

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Soft Sigh from Hell September 10, 2014 at 6:50 pm

It’s all a midlands and upstate plot to demean and degrade Charleston!!

Just read the comments.

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20140910/PC1603/140919942/1177

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Political Chatter September 10, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Its his friends down there making the comments. The NIX526 gang (6000 members) – and tens of thousands of others – about to harp all over him. Tomorrow the artillery and exchanged start. Arrest warrants are being prepared. Not sure when they will be executed. Likely Harrell will be asked to turn himself in.
Major Networks flying into to the state now to cover the story.

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CorruptionInColumbia September 10, 2014 at 7:51 pm

Damn! Those are the voices of the fucktards who keep voting him and Slimehouse back in, over and over. I wonder if the State could suspend the voting rights of anyone who voted for him more than once in recent elections for a few years, in hopes their judgment would get better.

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John Boy September 10, 2014 at 8:02 pm

We desperately need term limits and recall elections,,,,desperately!

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CorruptionInColumbia September 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Yes we do, John Boy!

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VoiceofReason September 10, 2014 at 10:13 pm

Charleston is a Greenville wanna be!!!

All smoke and mirrors. Charleston is sooooooooo overrated!!!!

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Whoops September 10, 2014 at 7:31 pm

If convicted on all counts, Harrell faces a maximum sentence of 18 years in state prison. When federal charges are brought, he could face another 20 years. It would not be Double Jeopardy.

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Whoops September 10, 2014 at 7:32 pm

TV crews are out front of Harrell’s house?

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Inmate Harrell September 10, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Jody will take care of Bobby’s wife while he is in prison. And Big Bruce will take care of Bobby.

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Sam September 10, 2014 at 8:15 pm

As Leatherman and Company rob this state blind, we are paying attention to this minor stuff. We need to look at real crimes.

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RHood2 September 10, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Cannot a string of misdemeanors, if taken together, be consider a pattern of criminal activity that bumps it up, collectively, to a felony?
That’s the theory behind RICO, right?

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Guero September 11, 2014 at 5:47 am

Short answer: No. Predicate crimes for RICO must be felonies.

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Deo Vindice SC September 10, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Haley is the biggest blunder in SC history ! Where’s the news ! Lapping Tax-payer money. Is this new to SC ?

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Deo Vindice SC September 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm

It’s republican stew. SC it it’s finest. Haley and 20 others should be in prision. Treason against SC and the USA.

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Take No Prisoners September 10, 2014 at 11:49 pm

Hey Harrell? Don’t worry, boy …. You can still sell insurance for State Farm after you get out of prison. And Daniels and Howe can work in the prison law library! Justice is Blind, eh? But it sure as hell put a big spot like on your lawless self. Now whatcha going do? What will your circle of corrupt crony land developers do? Are they destroying their hard drives like the IRS????
Wilson certainly out foxed Harrell the Mastermind of House Corruption, and then some. You can bet Jean Toal is fuming about it, too. That woman needs to join Harrell.
Get him Att Gen Wilson … the people of South Carolina are proud of you, sir!

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Take No Prisoners September 10, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Harrell’s friend over at the Beach Company in Charleston will be losing a lot of sleep, I am sure.

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O Brother, Where Art Thou? September 11, 2014 at 1:05 am

House Speaker Bobby Harrell indicted on nine counts in corruption probe
By Jeremy Borden and Schuyler Kropf

All of the charges against Harrell are considered misdemeanors, but one misconduct in office charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison. If convicted on all counts, the Charleston Republican faces a maximum sentence of 18 years in prison and close to $40,000 in fines.

Merrill added that “people are innocent until proven guilty,” but that the House pro tempore, the House’s second-in-command, Rep. Jay Lucas, R-Hartsville, could step in, as the process would allow.

Lucas said he expects Harrell to step aside.

State law calls on Harrell to essentially suspend himself because he has been indicted for a crime that carries a more than two-year sentence, Lucas said. “The speaker would have to suspend himself as a member of the House,” he said. “I fully expect the speaker to comply with the statute.”

Specifically, the charges allege that Harrell:

Reimbursed himself for “non-existent” round-trip flights from Charleston to Columbia on Jan. 8, 2009; March 13, 2009; May 4, 2009; and Sept. 9, 2009. Harrell claimed the trips were official trips on campaign finance disclosure forms. Harrell faces separate charges for each alleged made-up flight.

Unlawfully paid himself $70,286 from his campaign account, which appears to have been used to pay an assistant at his private business. “Defendant claimed these expenditures were for an administrative assistant when in fact the Defendant gained an unlawful personal benefit,” the indictment says.

According to court papers, $93,958 was used for Harrell’s private airplane. Also, $70,286 was paid to an administrative assistant for the speaker’s private State Farm business, the indictment alleges. Some travel reimbursed for $96,381 was personal, according to court papers.

The speaker also sought to cover up the payments by changing entries in his pilot logbook, creating schedules of flights for the basis of payments and “misinforming” law enforcement and the House Ethics Committee about the reasons behind the reimbursements.

In March 2009, Harrell allegedly traveled and reimbursed himself $3,874 to fly to a high school baseball tournament in Florida. He allegedly marked the trip as “legislative travel.” The indictment characterizes the trip as being on his private airplane that carried himself, friends and family.

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Its Only Just Begun September 11, 2014 at 1:43 am

Now with indictments secured, Harrell’s offices, his homes, his business’, the homes of his employees, his family members, the homes and offices of his business cronies in land development, highway construction, you name it, are all subjected to un-announced raids by SLED and the Richland County Police Dept with Search Warrants in hand .. not to mention SUBPOENAS.
This case is going to be staying in the headlines for a very very long time.

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Philip Branton September 11, 2014 at 6:31 am

Bobby Harrell…….over the years ……I started taking pictures of my RENTAL CARS when I was on travel to document the condition of the cars so the rental car companies could not gouge the taxpayers..!!

You mean that you do not understand how to use the camera on your phone to document the DATES that you used your plane…??

Miles flown….gas used…..passengers…….airport location……??

Bobby…we highly suggest you call Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Jim Clyburn and then call a PRoSECUTOR named TREY GOWDY …..!!!

Bobby………..you may want to get Mayor Riley and Tim Goodwin and Kieth Summey and Tim Collins on a conference call….!!!

Wil Folks is going to ………OWN the Post and Courier….!!!

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Guest September 11, 2014 at 8:27 am

Lies!

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Patriot September 11, 2014 at 9:13 am

I hope Howe & Daniels empty Harrell’s bank account like the outgoing tide.

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Where Oh Where September 11, 2014 at 11:34 am

His Plane … His Plane … Look, His Plane …. Expensive to operate even on an Insurance Sales Mans pay, eh? And then three 70 grand automobiles …. 2 boats …. 4 residential properties … Where Does Bobby get all of his money from?

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Sleepless in Spartanburg September 11, 2014 at 3:03 pm

He drives one of those little BMWs (dark blue, like the SC flag) that cost $70,000… way more than the average annual income of the households of the peasants he represents…

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Elroy September 11, 2014 at 10:34 pm

“I have said all along that I have never intentionally violated any law, and I still strongly believe that statement to be accurate,” Harrell said in a statement.
IGNORANCE OF THE LAW IS NO EXCUSE.

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