House Speaker Harrell no longer part of grand jury investigation, spokesman says

House Speaker Bobby Harrell
House Speaker Bobby Harrell

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A spokesman for House Speaker Bobby Harrell said Saturday the Charleston republican is no longer part of a grand jury investigation.

"The state Grand Jury expired June 30 and there is no longer any state grand jury investigation of me," Harrell said in a statement. "It has also been confirmed to us that the Attorney General has removed himself from my case and appointed Solicitor David Pascoe to handle it. The attorney general made the decision to take these actions without any consultation or communication with my attorneys or me."

Harrell said he was not notified of the proceedings until a month after the fact.

"The attorney general's office notified us of his decisions on July 29 during a call between my attorney and a representative of the attorney general," Harrell said.

The grand jury investigation stemmed from a complaint filed by the South Carolina Policy Council.

Ashley Landess with the South Carolina Policy Council accused Harrell of using his political influence to get a permit for his pharmaceutical business, nepotism by appointing his brother to a committee that screens judicial candidates, and using campaign funds to pay for travel expenses.

Throughout the investigation Harrell maintained he did not violate the law.

"I have said from the beginning that I violated no law and have only sought an independent prosecutor free of political motives and influence," Harrell said. "I hope these events accomplish that."

A spokesman for Attorney General Alan Wilson said "We are unable to comment because the Supreme Court order directs that we are not to disclose these matters."

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