At risk: ‘The time-tested authority of AGs to enforce law equally’

Posted by Cindi Ross Scoppe on May 8, 2014 

Former SC Attorneys General Henry McMaster, Charlie Condon and Travis Medlock at Friday's hearing on jurisdiction of a corruption investigation into House Speaker Bobby Harrell

JEFF BLAKE — jblake@thestate.com Buy Photo

In my column today, I quoted from the statement of former attorneys general Henry McMaster, Charlie Condon and Travis Medlock about the bizarro legal theory Circuit Judge Casey Manning is considering. Here’s their full statement:

STATEMENT FROM S.C.’s THREE LIVING FORMER ATTORNEYS GENERAL

Friday May 2, 2014

The three of us listed below are attending the hearing before Judge Casey Manning today to offer our support for the time-tested authority of the Attorney General to prosecute crime and enforce the laws of South Carolina equally, with no privileges or special terms or conditions for any citizen, including elected officials.

We served consecutively as South Carolina Attorneys General for nearly 30 years, from 1983 to 2011. During his term in office, Travis Medlock successfully advocated the passage of the State Grand Jury, which is a critically important tool all subsequent attorneys general have used in the public interest to investigate allegations of public corruption and, when appropriate, to bring forward criminal indictments.

Over the past thirty years, not one of us ever imagined the Attorney General needed authorization from a legislative committee or political body in order to investigate or prosecute alleged criminal behavior by an elected official. Such a restriction would undercut the core Constitutional authority of the Attorney General. And even more importantly, it would violate the fundamental basis of our system of government that all people should be treated equally under the law.

We are here today because we believe these principles must be upheld to preserve our State’s founding ideal that no one should be above the law.

TRAVIS MEDLOCK, Attorney General 1983-1995

CHARLIE CONDON, Attorney General 1995-2003

HENRY McMASTER, Attorney General 2003-2011

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