The S.C. Supreme Court will hear arguments beginning at 1:30 p.m. today on the continuing controversy over who has the right to investigate possibly illegal actions by S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell.
The case originally dates from an alleged ethics complaint brought to S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson by the libertarian South Carolina Policy Council. It included allegations that Harrell used his influence as Speaker to obtain a contract for his pharmaceutical supply business and improperly appointed his brother to a judicial candidate screening committee.
(In South Carolina, the legislature appoints a panel that screens judicial applicants and sends recommendations back to the legislature which votes on the recommendations for final approval of the judges. To further complicate the situation, many of the applicants are former legislators.)
The complaint also questioned the use of approximately $324,000 of Harrell’s campaign funds to reimburse himself for costs associated with trips in his personal airplane.