Harrell: Grand Jury investigation is over

(Bill Burr/WCIV)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) - The politically heated investigation into alleged ethics crimes by the state's Speaker of the House is over, according to Speaker Bobby Harrell.

According to a release from Harrell, days after the state's Supreme Court rendered a ruling on the matter Wilson walked away from the case. As a result, the Grand Jury investigation came to an end.

Harrell said the investigation ended more than a month ago, but the Attorney General's office just recently told him the case was over.

"My attorneys recently were informed that I am no longer the subject of a state Grand Jury investigation. The state Grand Jury expired June 30 and there is no longer any state Grand Jury investigation of me," Harrell said. "It has also been confirmed to us that the Attorney General has removed himself from my case and appointed Solicitor David Pascoe to handle it. The Attorney General made the decision to take these actions without any consultation or communication with my attorneys or me."

Harrell went on to say Wilson's office told Harrell or his attorneys of the changes in the case on July 29.

"I have said from the beginning that I violated no law and have only sought an independent prosecutor free of political motives and influence. I hope these events accomplish that," he said.

In May, a circuit court judge tossed out the grand jury case against Harrell, saying the case first had to go to the House Ethics Committee.

Judge Casey Manning disagreed with Wilson's position that the State Constitution should carry more weight than state law. But Manning said Wilson "failed to offer or present to the court any evidence or allegations which are criminal in nature."

Wilson's office has not released a comment on the case's end.