COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP, WLTX) - South Carolina's House Ethics panel held a public hearing Friday over allegations that Gov. Nikki Haley engaged in illegal lobbying while a member of the House.
The hearing began just after 9:30 a.m..
The committee's hearing Thursday is part of the panel's first investigation of a sitting governor. The panel subpoenaed 11 witnesses, including Haley's former employers and colleagues.
A complaint by long-time Republican activist John Rainey accuses Haley of illegally lobbying in jobs as hospital fundraiser and consultant for an engineering firm with state contracts. The Republican governor has said she did nothing wrong.
The committee voted unanimously last month to reopen the case and hold the hearing. That vote came weeks after members found probable cause that violations had occurred, but dismissed all charges.
Rainey appealed. A Democratic lawmaker asked lawmakers to reconsider.
In his opening statements, Haley's attorney Butch Bowers told the committee something saying something with confidence didn't mean it was true. He added that allegations are not facts, and that evidence would show the governor made no violation.
Several witnesses testified that they did not know of any illegal lobbying done by then Representative Haley. Some also said they never felt any pressure or influence from Haley to take certain action.
Haley's former employer Michael Biediger, President and CEO of the Lexington Medical Center testified that Haley's political position did not play a role in her hiring,.
He said he did not giver her political assignments, and said her responsibilities were solely with the Lexington Medical Center Foundation.