Media attorney: High court note not a surprise

By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A critic of House Speaker Bobby Harrell says she's concerned by the state Supreme Court's call for secrecy in future court arguments in his case.

But media attorney Jay Bender said Thursday he thinks the justices only recognized the historical secrecy of grand juries. On Wednesday, the court unanimously ruled that Attorney General Alan Wilson has the authority to investigate Harrell, overturning a lower court's decision.

Bender says he's not disturbed by a footnote in the ruling which orders future arguments to be held in private. Bender says those hearings will likely involve what the grand jury is hearing.

The lower court must rule on whether Wilson should be removed from the case, as Harrell requested.

Ashley Landess of the Policy Council says that decision should be public.

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