SC attorney general appeals Harrell ruling

(Bill Burr/WCIV)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - State prosecutors are challenging a judge's decision to dismiss allegations of corruption against South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell. Mark Powell, a spokesman for Attorney General Alan Wilson, confirmed the appeal Monday and released three appeal documents Tuesday.The documents include a notice that a full appeal is in the works, a motion to expedite the briefing schedule and a petition that tells why the attorney general believes the dismissal should be reversed."The rule of law should apply equally to everyone, without privilege or immunity for anyone," AG Wilson states in the petition. "The lower court's order is unprecedented in American law and unsupported by any known legal authority. The order interferes with, impedes, and stops dead in its tracks an ongoing criminal investigation of public corruption by a State Grand Jury properly impaneled...The General Assembly did not intend for the fox to guard the henhouse."The documents are available to the public on the Office's website Earlier this month, Circuit Judge Casey Manning ruled a state grand jury considering the allegations was improperly empaneled. He said charges that Harrell used his influence to get a permit for his pharmaceutical business and an appointment for his brother must first be considered by the House Ethics Committee. Manning's decision is similar to one he made regarding ethics allegations against Gov. Nikki Haley, a former House member. Harrell's lawyers argued their client's case should be dealt with the same way. Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.