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SC House Speaker Indicted For Ethics Violations, Other Charges


A grand jury indicted the South Carolina Speaker of the House Wednesday on nine charges that include corruption and ethics violations. The indictment is the latest in a months-long legal battle that's involved the South Carolina attorney general and the state Supreme Court.South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson has been trying to prosecute House Speaker Bobby Harrell for public corruption for months. A state judge ruled in May that before the attorney general could bring a criminal case against the House speaker, a House committee had to determine there was a criminal case.

The state Supreme Court overturned that decision. But it also sent it back to the judge to decide whether Wilson specifically should be dismissed from the case for political reasons. Wilson later passed the case off to a state solicitor.

The legal ping pong can be dizzying, but the bottom line is this: The solicitor announced the Richland County Grand Jury has now indicted Speaker Harrell. The charges say that from 2009 through 2013, Speaker Harrell knowingly committed official misconduct, fraud or corruption to obtain personal profit. The indictment does not specify how he allegedly committed these crimes.