No Bobby Harrell Mug Shot?

WHY THAT DOESN’T … AND DOES MATTER By FITSNEWS || The S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is refusing to release a “processing photo” (a.k.a. mug shot) of suspended Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell – a flagrant violation of the Palmetto State’s open records law. Harrell was arraigned earlier…

bobby harrell and kenny bingham


By FITSNEWS || The S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is refusing to release a “processing photo” (a.k.a. mug shot) of suspended Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell – a flagrant violation of the Palmetto State’s open records law.

Harrell was arraigned earlier this week on a nine-count state corruption indictment … which it’s worth pointing out appears to be the least of his problems.

During his arraignment, Harrell was fingerprinted and photographed – although SLED is refusing to release the booking photograph of Harrell, according to The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier.

“It sounds to me like somebody has decided to give Harrell special treatment,” open records attorney Jay Bender told the paper.

Indeed …

Here’s the thing about mug shots: They shouldn’t be a big deal – either for the subjects appearing in them or the media seeking them.

Seriously, if you’re a politician who is about to be booked – just smile for the camera!  That way your mug shot will look no different than any typical campaign photograph.

And for those taking the mug shots, it’s even simpler: Release them when they are requested.

These are public records, and while we know South Carolina has a big problem when it comes to transparency – there is absolutely no reason why Harrell’s mug shot shouldn’t be released.  Bender is 100 percent right: The law requires that it be released.

Obviously Harrell’s mug shot is not a big deal in either the short- or long-term scheme of things … but there’s a bigger issue at work here. The failure of SLED to release the photo is yet another sad reminder that in the Palmetto State, a corrupt few are still arbitrarily deciding which public records are actually “public.”

That’s not “freedom of information.”  That’s the perpetuation of the nation’s most secretive government.

UPDATE: Well, well … even Harrell gets it

UPDATE II: And the mug shot is released …

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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Tunes'n'News October 1, 2014 at 9:43 am

WTF? Get em, Bender.

Bender Will Destroy SLED October 1, 2014 at 11:47 am

Attorney Bender will show them no mercy. He is a recognized and well respected expert – a master you could say – on public records law. SLED does not want to be pissing him off. Jay Bender has even taken memorandums of law and shoved them down the throats of rogue judges. Paul Garfinkel ( a family court judge in Charleston ), Jay cuts his nuts off back in the late 90s. Taught that old cantankerous man by taking him to the wood shed over denying the press access to a hearing that the law clearly said could not be closed to the public. The editor back then for the News and Courier wrote a nice hit piece about Garfinkel that in today’s time, would have forced that judge to be kicked off the bench and thrown over a cliff. Garfinkel’s reasons for denying public access to the court were based on no established law; alleging that “flash bulbs” (electronically controlled) from reporter’s camera’s might catch the court room on fire.”

Bender over October 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm

I have a tough time equating bow tie with tough guy even though they rhyme. But, if you say so.

Native Ink October 1, 2014 at 9:48 am

Rick Perry’s mug shot was a big deal for about a day. Bobby Harrell once again makes himself look worse by getting special treatment from the authorities.

Centrist View October 1, 2014 at 11:14 am

Only in America.

Rick Perry Just Released A ‘Wanted’ Shirt With His Mug Shot
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) seems to be enjoying the spotlight that has come with pushing back on his recent indictment.

The latest move: His new political action committee unveiled a T-shirt featuring Perry’s mug shot. The back of the shirt features the mug shot of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose character Perry has repeatedly tried to attack while making her the poster child of his pushback.

The caption under Perry’s mug shot says he’s “wanted” for “securing the border and defeating Democrats.” Lehmberg’s side says she’s “wanted” for “driving while intoxicated and perversion of justice.”

Get it here @ $25 a pop.

Dan Hendrix October 1, 2014 at 9:54 am

While you are at it, find the sled report on the hacking of DOR RECORDS.

Dan Hendrix October 1, 2014 at 9:54 am

While you are at it, find the sled report on the hacking of DOR RECORDS.

Smirks October 1, 2014 at 9:55 am

Even Rick Perry got a mugshot.

Pickens October 1, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I’m sure Harrell’s family, members of his church, and constituents are proud of him. He’s really, really famous now. In the news all the time. Gosh.

Smirks October 1, 2014 at 9:55 am

Even Rick Perry got a mugshot.

Bible Thumper October 1, 2014 at 10:07 am

There are very good reasons for not releasing a mugshot as sic willie knows very personally.

The Colonel October 1, 2014 at 10:11 am

Wow – is that really Will?!?

Bible Thumper October 1, 2014 at 10:18 am

The article is even better.

No Fear October 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Its not recent. Been years since. I have no interest. People make mistakes and move on. Plus the courts in this state are still biased against men. But I guess always pulling punches at Will as you do, it makes you feel better about yourself. However, with so many laws on the books, it would be simple to have a warrant issued for your arrest. So don’t push your luck, chump.

Bible Thumper October 1, 2014 at 2:12 pm

“But I guess always pulling punches at Will as you do…”
Hey! Fits doesn’t hold ’em against Nikki or Lindsey.

Cockroach Motel October 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

Proof positive that the good ole’ boy system is never going away, even with the Feds goose stepping around the Dome.

Same ol' Same ol' October 1, 2014 at 11:03 am

It’s sad when the cops don’t obey the law. Guess it happens all the time.

The Colonel October 1, 2014 at 11:22 am

No perp walk, no mug shot, next thing they’ll be telling us is no cameras in the court room…

Common Law Right To Mug Shot October 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

We are fighting the enemy within, Colonel. But of course you know that already, sir.

Bible Thumper October 1, 2014 at 11:58 am

Being a Gamecock fan, he didn’t want to wear orange.

No Fear October 1, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Good one :-)

you know me October 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm

When he serves time, he won’t have a choice.

The Colonel October 1, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Orange is the new black – he won’t serve a day.

Common Law Right To Mug Shot October 1, 2014 at 11:27 am

They want to make a battle over a mug shot? Oh my such fools they are. Law enforcers outright and willfully breaking and disrespecting opinions/rulings made by the United States Supreme Court.
SLED is losing it. Someone is, perhaps, working on the inside of that agency trying to protect Harrell. They figure it would hurt his re-election if the mug shot is released and plastered all over the media —- OR — NO mug shot was actually taken (as mandated by law when either arrested or by direct indictment if no recent photo is already on file).
On direct indictment, its my understanding that a defendant processed just like anyone being arrested; Miranda, fingerprints, photos, yada yada yada.
Something is not right with SLED. They have created an impossible situation for themselves that it absolutely impossible to win. They better release Harrell’s mug shot before week’s end. Everybody in the legal world is talking. And lawsuits are not the only thing rumored to be crossing their lips.

CorruptionInColumbia October 2, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Since when does SLED have to obey any laws? For years, they violated the law that says they have 90 days to issue someone a CWP absent any reason to deny it. They frequently doubled that time and worse. I understand that as of late the situation has improved, but SLED does not have to obey laws.

Krazy Kat October 1, 2014 at 11:50 am

Here’s a bigger question–Why did SLED book him? Wasn’t this a case before the Richland County grand jury?

I Spy October 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm

SLED was the listed investigative agency on the indictments. So Harrell is their boy, not RCSD.

This Is Bad October 1, 2014 at 12:17 pm

This is proof that Harrell’s has friends and influence at SLED. Harrell and his cronies does not want his mug shot accessed by the public via media outlets with a fast looming election day.
They are calculating this illegal denial of access in clear contradiction and disrespect to well established case law; the publics right to know and access government records. The mug shot is afforded no exemptions in any respect. This is a calculated political move, SLED will be forced to pay all legal fees to plaintiffs suing the agency for Harrell’s mug shot, and they know it. But to Harrell and his cronies, they do not care inasmuch the taxpayers will be punished by footing the court order payment of all legal expenses. Harrell wants to insure he retains his spot as representative for district 114. Releasing a mug shot just weeks before the election is further damaging to his re election campaign. Harrell has someone at SLED working for him. That is obvious. No wonder Harrell had been repeatedly demanding that State Attorney General Wilson release the SLED report. Someone on the inside of SLED was providing Harrell (either direct or indirect) inside information.
Sad to say, SLED appears to be infiltrated and influenced by the corruption that is rocking the Statehouse. AG Wilson knows it. And now, the public is seeing on another avenue as to just how bad it really is. One of Harrell’s lawyers, Howe … has close ties with SLED agents. Even use to brag about how he got one of them hired on at the agency (trading favors). That agent was Sam Tanner. Isn’t that right, Gedney? You use to brag to everyone about it. Remember?

Philip Branton October 1, 2014 at 12:19 pm

God….every BLACK law enforcement officer and WHITE law enforcement officer and every law student should be outraged….!!!

This goon gave BOEING 900 MILLION without a vote by the citizens of this great state…!?

Heck, how would real estate investors from Walhalla be able to invest in land in North Charleston before this deal was done to be FAIR….??

This whole media stunt is fluff and spice to keep LINDSEY GRAHAM and TIM SCOTT and JIM CLYBURN off of the front page due to our BLOOD for OIL stampede in Iraq and Syria….!!!

WE are fed UP……!!!!

HappyKat October 1, 2014 at 12:35 pm

I am sure he the big “Gamecock fan” won’t like wearing orange!

Philip Branton October 1, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Every stinkin’ reporter and journalist in our state should be ashamed…..!!! DO they know what is coming in their future…!!

….this is a classic example of why people have stopped “reading” the news….!!!

We have a bunch of scared weenies in our media who do not want to lose those STATE FARM advertising dollars for taking down one of their un-ethical AGENTS….!!!

….and just look at Wil FOlks….he is no different. We bold face DARE him to run a STATE FARM piece on Bobby Harrell….!!!!

…this is no different than “Wil Folks” protecting the banker who is funding the sales of ISIS oil smuggling…!!!

How many women and children are being ABUSED by that cowardice…???

Philip Branton October 1, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Dear Mrs Wil Folks………

Ya know, we highly wager that YOU do NOT read this website on a daily basis and could probably care less about a Harrell Mugshot…!! (You probably would rather have my mugshot to swoooon over…)

As it may be, you have to be aghast at the “Vagina cookies” topic that Liz Gunn chose to “sprout” about. You mean to tell us all here that Liz Gunn is cruising a reddit thread about cookies and goes “Pussy RIOT” ….? DOn’t you think that she would garner more web hits for your husband’s website by donning a veil and declaring a “Wussy RIOT” on Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Jim Clyburn…?

Mrs Folks…..we here want you to have a successful marriage and life long journey. Your husband needs your help….PRONTO…!!! Who cares about a State Farm jihad against this website….!!!? Does your family have STATE FARM insurance coverage or have you switched all your families policies to show disgust over Bobby Harrell’s SLAVERY to fossil Blood for OIL….!!? WE all here want to know…!? HEck, maybe you could get a fine foodie friend to whip up a “STATE FARM mugshot” since there is no one for Bobby…?

HEck, you could sell copies with Liz offering her autograph for SMIRKS and the COLONEL to swoon over…??

Dare to wonder how that news would spread in the halls of the State house bathroom stalls…?

Let’s go Mrs Folks…..!!! Your better than SKIRT Magazine..!!

Philip Branton October 1, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Come on Mrs Wil FOlks……..

You do know how to use the Charleston “9” …do U not…!?!

Dare to wonder how a SMIRKS email can be used….???

…….Mrs Folks……..if you don’t think that certain State Farm Agents want to protect their agencies and will make a call to a corporate office….>THINK AGAIN…!!!

SMIRKS can sink Harrell, Graham, Scott, and Clyburn …………he knows how to talk on a FITSNEWS battlefield…!!!

Come on Mrs Folks…….be a QUEEN….!!!

Centrist View October 1, 2014 at 1:25 pm Reply
Philip Branton October 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm

BRAVO……….lol……great retort….

+10 points and a copy of face recognition software…….

…now if we could just get STATE FARM Insurance lapel badge photoshopped on the photo….

I Spy October 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Good Job!! A dozen Krispy Kream donuts for you, Sherlock.

nitrat October 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm

SLED chief Mark Keel just needs to put a sign around his neck: I AM CORRUPT SOUTH CAROLINA LAW ENFORCEMENT AND PROUD OF IT!!


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