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Wilson submits documents to high court responding to ongoing Pascoe dispute

Published: Apr. 8, 2016 at 8:31 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 9, 2016 at 1:54 AM EDT
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South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and his office are confirming he has filed a response to claims made by appointed special prosecutor David Pascoe.

In a letter to the Supreme Court, Wilson says his response or "return" has been submitted to the Court with a motion to seal that document. The return was due Friday.

Wilson says the motion, which would prevent the public from reading the document, is made
"out of an abundance of caution" because the filing might be related to a State Grand Jury proceeding.  The Attorney General says however, his office does not believe the filings contain information that needs to be sealed.

He says if the Court agrees, "it is in the public interest" to make the response public.

Wilson was expected to submit court documents responding to actions filed late last month by prosecutor David Pascoe, the man chosen to handle a probe into alleged corruption at the State House.

What we've been waiting for is Wilson's rebuttal after Pascoe asked the Supreme Court to step in and settle fundamental issues in this dispute.

Among them -- did the Attorney General in appointing Pascoe to take over a probe of corruption allegations involving lawmakers and possibly others -- give the First Circuit Solicitor authority to initiate a State Grand Jury investigation in partnership with SLED Chief Mark Keel? Or does state law mandate only Wilson himself has that authority?

Also unsettled is whether Wilson in recusing himself and appointing Pascoe, retained the ability to fire Pascoe and replace him with another special prosecutor, specifically, the Fifth Circuit's Dan Johnson.

You will recall last week's high-tension news conference in which Wilson angrily accused Pascoe of lying in one of his filings to the Supreme Court and labeled Pascoe as "tainted," untrustworthy, and not competent to lead the probe.

The dispute has gotten so nasty that it even had Gov. Nikki Haley weighing in, calling it an "embarrassing mess."

Pascoe meanwhile, has declined to respond publicly, saying the matters he outlined in his two submissions to the high court should be decided in court and not in the media.

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