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Ethics Commissioner Calls Out SC Attorney General




A member of the S.C. State Ethics Commission (SCSEC) is publicly calling out attorney general Alan Wilson over his transparent effort to play politics with an ongoing probe of legislative corruption.

Last December, this website broke open a big story about how Wilson – an erstwhile crusader for justice – went out of his way to convince first circuit solicitor David Pascoe that several angles of potential prosecution against sitting members of the S.C. General Assembly were unlikely to yield indictments.   Those legislative leaders – like Wilson – are intimately connected to the neo-Confederate political empire of Richard Quinn and Associates.

Sound shady?  Of course it is …

Hell, Wilson’s betrayal was so self-evident even the establishment-coddling mainstream media picked up on it.

Now Wilson is being called out by one of the state’s ethics watchdogs – commissioner Francis E. Grimball.

Last week, Grimball rebuked Wilson – and his office’s shameful, politically-motivated ruling.  Not only that, the commissioner made clear that anyone falling under the jurisdiction of the SCSEC (a.k.a. anyone but state lawmakers) should ignore the ruling.

“Why he did that is beyond me,” Grimball said, according to reporter Jeremy Borden of The (Columbia, S.C.) Free Times. “We want to make it clear to people who do fall under our jurisdiction … that this is not anything they should rely on.”

Wow …

We concur with Grimball’s assessment.  One hundred percent.  The only problem?  The ethics commission doesn’t have oversight when it comes to the real power in South Carolina – state lawmakers.  Also, the SCSEC has a history of flip-flopping on its bold pronouncements when it faces blowback from powerful politicians (like S.C. governor Nikki Haley).

We’ve said it before we’ll say it again: There can be no “ethics reform” in South Carolina as long as those in power are able to manipulate the outcomes – whitewashing and burying scandals at their leisure.  Real accountability means creating unambiguous, far-reaching and transparent prohibitions against self-dealing – and empowering an independent oversight agency to drop the hammer on those who violate the public trust.

In the fight against public corruption in South Carolina, we thought Alan Wilson was going to be part of the solution.

Why?  Because he told us he was … and he initially appeared to be making good on his word.

“This is really about the public – and the public’s trust in government,” Wilson told us at the height of his crusading. “And it’s just not there anymore.”

That’s true …

Unfortunately, Wilson’s ongoing efforts to shield his political cronies from the consequences of their actions is further eroding the trust he vowed to uphold.