Haley vs. Harrell over ethics investigation - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Haley vs. Harrell over ethics investigation

Governor Nikki Haley addresses media about ethics investigation Governor Nikki Haley addresses media about ethics investigation
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Gov. Nikki Haley says the ethics investigation against her is a political vendetta and she says House Speaker Bobby Harrell is behind it all.


Haley's legal team turned over financial records to ethics investigators Thursday.


Friday Governor Haley walked out of her office and broke her silence on the ethics complaint against her.

"We have given everything possible and it was dismissed based on fact and it was brought back up on politics," said Haley.
     
Haley said she never lobbied while she served in the house, and said the Ethics Committee proved that when they dismissed the complaint three weeks ago.


But Thursday, Haley's staff delivered records to ethics attorney Patrick Dennis. Then she said they uncovered a whole new side of the story.

"What I saw yesterday, it just stunk," said Haley. "Yesterday was -- that's when it reeks of toxic, political mess and yesterday it just kind of came to a head."

Haley said the speaker ordered Dennis not to pick up the records from the governor's office. Plus, Dennis sent the governor a request for new* information that wasn't included in what the ethics committee voted to ask for last week.


That request, the Governor said, came from Bobby Harrell.

"To have a Speaker go and get the pulse of the caucus and then to turn around and then tell his legal counsel that he cannot go get the information from the person and now what we have seen is what should have been a legal process has suddenly turned into a political process," said Haley.

Patrick Dennis attended Haley's news conference Friday, standing with the speaker's staff and two people who work for the Democratic Party. But Dennis wouldn't answer reporter Jody Barr's questions.

Members of the House Ethics Committee responded to the governor's accusations with a group statement released Friday: "House Speaker Bobby Harrell has been attacked with several accusations surrounding the complaint filed before the House Ethics Committee pertaining to Governor Nikki Haley.  The Members of the House Ethics Committee strongly believe that the record needs to be set straight."  

The statement continued: "Speaker Harrell did not attempt to influence me or try to influence me as a member of the House Ethics Committee in the matter regarding Governor Haley in any way."

The statement did not identify the committee members.


Harrell's spokesman said Haley's claims aren't true.

"The only direct involvement the Speaker has had in this process is to ask the Ethics Committee to fully and thoroughly investigate this issue," said Greg Foster.

"We need answers to what is going on here," said Haley. "Why is this happening? Why did the speaker get involved? Why can't this be put to bed and what else can I possibly give that I haven't already given."


The governor handed over three affidavits from former employers who all say she was not lobbying for them.  The ethics committee is looking over the documents.  We don't know what, if any difference, it will make that could cause them to bring charges against the governor.

Copyright 2012 WIS.  All rights reserved.

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