SLED begins investigation of SC speaker

The Associated PressFebruary 28, 2013 

Robert Harrell

State police officially have begun investigating an ethics complaint against House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston.

State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said Thursday that agents had been assigned to the investigation.

On Feb. 14, Attorney General Alan Wilson forwarded to SLED a complaint accusing Harrell of violating state ethics laws. S.C. Policy Council president Ashley Landess has alleged Harrell used his office to boost his finances by using undue influence to get a permit for his pharmaceutical business.

The Policy Council also took issue with Harrell appointing his brother to a committee that screens judicial candidates and picks the top three for each seat that the Legislature gets to choose from.

The Charleston Republican has called the complaint a “baseless” attack driven by a “personal and political vendetta.”

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