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      Attorney seeks to open up Harrell ethics hearings

      File photo (WCIV)

      By MEG KINNARDAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A hearing is taking place related to ethics charges against one of South Carolina's top legislators.

      An attorney who represents media organizations is asking a judge Friday to open proceedings involving House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

      The State Grand Jury is considering the South Carolina Policy Council's allegations that Harrell used his office to boost his finances and appointed his brother to a judicial screening committee.

      Matters are presented to the Grand Jury in secret. But media attorney Jay Bender says proceedings related to the powerful Charleston Republican should be open so the public knows the case is being handled appropriately.

      Bender says in court papers he has reason to believe Harrell wants the state attorney general removed from his case.

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      Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

      Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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