SC politics: Ethics panel weighs case against legislator

December 17, 2013 

Ethics panel weighs ethics case against legislator

The S.C. House’s Ethics Committee made no decisions Tuesday in the case of state Rep. Harold Mitchell, D-Spartanburg, under investigation on allegations of possible misuse of campaign money.

The committee met Tuesday afternoon but immediately went into a closed-door session for a legal briefing on the case. After about two hours behind closed doors, state Rep. Kenny Bingham, R-Lexington, chairman of the Ethics Committee, told the media that the committee would make no decisions about Mitchell’s case Tuesday.

It was unclear when the committee would resume its deliberations.

Last month, the Ethics Committee reviewed dozens of transactions from Mitchell’s campaign account, including cash withdrawals, bank counter checks that Mitchell wrote to himself, money spent on expenses not clearly related to campaigning, and improperly reported contributions and expenses.

The ethics panel also had planned to discuss state Rep. Bill Chumley, R-Spartanburg, under scrutiny for authorizing the use of a state-owned aircraft to bring a pundit to Columbia for a legislative hearing earlier this year.

However, that case was removed from Tuesday’s agenda after Chumley requested a hearing, Bingham said. A hearing date has not yet been set, he added.

Jamie Self

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