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Alan Wilson’s Job Is Not Done

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THERE’S A LOT MORE CORRUPTION TO BE EXPOSED IN SOUTH CAROLINA

|| By FITSNEWS || Last year was a big one for S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson.  South Carolina’s top prosecutor earned his stripes during the investigation of former S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell – who was forced to resign his office last year after pleading guilty to several ethics charges.

Wilson – who relishes his reputation as a Boy Scout – emerged as a modern-day version of Eliot Ness, the crusading prohibition-era lawman whose “Untouchables” helped take down Al Capone in the early 1930s.

Wilson wasn’t just going up against a particular politician … he was fighting a corrupt system.  And his willingness to engage the fray served as an inspiration to legions of reformers who have grown sick and tired of chronic corruption in state government.

To say nothing of a total lack of accountability …

But as the first month of the New Year draws to a close, the hottest rumor at the S.C. State House is that Wilson is “spent” – that his investigation (conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney in South Carolina) is done.

Neither Wilson nor his office will comment one way or another on that …

With the exception of one interview back in May of last year, they’ve said absolutely nothing about the status of “the probe.”

Sources close to Wilson insist rumors of the investigation’s demise are false.

“It’s not over,” one well-placed source tells FITS.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but it better not be … because South Carolina cannot afford for it to be.

Wilson was a little-known statewide official before he made public corruption his office’s central focus.  Now he is one of South Carolina’s top political prospects.  And to his credit he’s earned the accolades he’s received – picking fights no one else dared to pick.

But his work isn’t done … far from it, actually.

For starters, Harrell’s misdeeds – while serious – pale in comparison to those committed by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley (whom Wilson inexplicably declined to prosecute).  Dozens of other state officials have committed clear violations of state ethics law – yet continue to evade accountability for their actions.

We’re referring to powerful politicians like S.C. House leaders Brian White and Bill Sandifer – among others.

Wilson cannot afford to let these elected officials evade his dragnet …

Sources close to Wilson have repeatedly told FITS his office has a simple standard: It prosecutes only those cases it believes it can prove, and it doesn’t care whether the target of the investigation is a “big rat” or a “baby mouse.”  We believe that.  We also believe Wilson is the Boy Scout everyone (or almost everyone) says he is.

But there are questions that cannot be ignored …

For example, agents of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) weighed in on Wilson’s decision not to prosecute Haley – a clear conflict of interest given that Haley appoints the chief of SLED.

Seriously … what did he think SLED was going to say about investigating the governor?

Others fear Wilson will show deference to those elected officials affiliated with the consulting empire of Richard Quinn and Associates (a.k.a. the “Quinndom”) – which is where he receives his political advice.

“Unless one of (Quinn’s) scalps goes up on his wall – his ‘probe’ has no legitimacy,” one State House insider told FITS. “He’s gotta take one of those guys down.”

We’re inclined to agree …

Unlike his predecessor Henry McMaster, Wilson has done an amazing job putting public corruption front and center on his agenda.  In fact his efforts have made long-overdue ethics reform one of the top items on the S.C. General Assembly’s agenda – thanks in large part to the efforts of newly elected S.C. Speaker Jay Lucas.

But Wilson’s decision to shine the light inside the S.C. State House’s cesspool appears to have sent more rats scurrying than he and his federal friends know what to do with … not to mention raised the public’s expectations regarding the consequences that should befall each and every one of those rats.

Bottom line?  Wilson has started an important fight … now he has to finish it.

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