PROBE INTO STATE HOUSE CORRUPTION UNRAVELS FURTHER …
The scandal surrounding S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson jumped to a higher energy level on Tuesday when the embattled politician appointed an ethically-challenged prosecutor from Richland County to oversee the anti-corruption investigation he seems hellbent on obstructing.
Wilson tapped S.C. fifth circuit solicitor Dan Johnson to manage the State House probe – one day after it was revealed Wilson’s office had been blocking a grand jury investigation requested by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and by David Pascoe, the S.C. first circuit solicitor Wilson originally tapped to handle these cases.
Who is Johnson? This guy …
Yeah … yikes.
“The only worse decision would have been to appoint Donnie Myers,” one S.C. political insider told us, referring to the S.C. eleventh circuit solicitor who was recently forced to resign his office following an alcohol-related arrest.
Wilson removed Pascoe from the investigation just when it appeared as though several indictments of sitting members of the S.C. General Assembly were imminent. In fact indictments could have been handed down by now had Wilson agreed to swear in Pascoe’s prosecutors.
Instead he obstructed.
His intervention in the case – months after recusing himself due to undisclosed conflicts of interest – is widely perceived as a sop to powerful politicians in his immediate political orbit (a.k.a. the political stable of neo-Confederate consultant Richard Quinn).
We do not recognize Johnson’s authority over this investigation. In fact, even if he proceeds with indictments against some of the lawmakers reportedly under the microscope it could lead to serious problems regarding the integrity of the probe.
“From a legal perspective, if Johnson indicts there will be numerous issues,” one attorney told us. “If I was representing any of (the lawmakers) I would tie anything up with a massive amount of motions.”
Indeed … perhaps that was the point?
More to the point, we do not recognize Wilson’s authority in this matter.
Wilson abdicated his authority over this matter long ago – yet four months ago his office quietly released an advisory opinion (obtained exclusively by this website) in which he advised Pascoe that several angles of potential prosecution against sitting members of the S.C. General Assembly were unlikely to yield indictments.
That move finally began to draw the mainstream media’s attention to Wilson’s treachery … which is now on full display for everyone to see.
Well … almost everyone.
Exclusively unearthed by this website in September of 2014,”the probe” has already brought down powerful former S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell – who pleaded guilty to six ethics-related counts, resigned his office and got three years of probation. Now, however, it appears as though the prosecution of Harrell – which Wilson doggedly pursued (as this website cheered him on) – was less about accountability and more about moving Harrell out of the way so that his political allies could rise in the ranks.
“Once viewed as a crusader against public corruption, it’s now readily apparent Wilson has engaged in selective prosecution in an effort to benefit his political allies – many of whom are far more corrupt than the handful of politicians he’s prosecuted,” we wrote earlier this year.
That’s the reason this website has called for Wilson’s resignation or removal from office in the aftermath of this scandal.
UPDATE: Well, well … Johnson has told Wilson’s office he will not take over the case from Pascoe so long as “controversy exists as to whether your office has the ability to remove Solicitor Pascoe and appoint me.”