COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP, WLTX) - South Carolina's attorney general has forwarded a complaint against House Speaker Bobby Harrell to state law enforcement.
Attorney General Alan Wilson on Thursday received a complaint from the president of the South Carolina Policy Council alleging Harrell violated state ethics laws. He forwarded the complaint to State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel for review.
Wilson asked Keel to assign an agent to investigate the matter. He says Policy Council president Ashley Landess brought to his attention possible conflicts of interest with any review by the House Ethics Committee.
Landress claims that Harrell used his office forfinancial benefit or his family business, and used campaign funds for personal purposes.
"This is a baseless attack that is driven by personal and political vendetta,"Harrell said in a statement. "What little "facts" I have seen this political group put forward have been disproven and the rest appears to be the product of an over-active imagination. The real reason why this political group did not file anything at the appropriate place, the House Ethics Committee, is because it would prevent them from holding any more press conferences. And as shown by their lack of fact and substance, this political group's goal is to conduct a smear campaign against me in the media."
Under state law, House and Senate panels handle complaints against their own members. But legislators are proposing a change to that.