Sue Edward, a long time co-chair of the South Carolina Green Party, has had a golden opportunity laid at her feet. The incumbent she is running against is House Speaker Bobby Harrell.
Harrell has been under investigation for two years under pressure from Republican and libertarian groups. He will reportedly confess to a series of misdemeanors, and resign his seat. He would also be removed from the ballot and state law seems to indicate that the Republicans will have no nominee in the race. Will the Republicans opt to vote for the Democrat, the Green, or not vote at all?
For more on Speaker Harrell’s criminal indictments, read below the fold.
An article in The Charleston Post and Courier lays out the highlights of the Speaker’s alleged criminality.
Harrell was released on bond in late September after facing allegations that he doctored flight records, reimbursed himself for flights that he didn’t take and unlawfully paid himself tens of thousands of dollars from his campaign account. The speaker is a licensed pilot and often flew between Charleston and Columbia.
Other accusations against the Speaker have involved even more serious scandals which have dealt with his business interests.
COLUMBIA — House Speaker Bobby Harrell says his drug repackaging business has flourished since its founding six years ago. “We’re all over the country, and we’re providing medications to companies as far away as California. In the lower 48, we sell medications in over 20 states,” the Charleston Republican said of Palmetto State Pharmaceuticals last month as he addressed questions about the company. Records obtained by The Post and Courier and others show that the success has come with another legacy — a collection of state and pharmacy group officials who expressed concerns spanning several years that Harrell used his political power as he sought to help his company.
How would that work?
In a series of 2010 emails recently released to the newspaper under the S.C. Freedom of Information Act, one Presbyterian College pharmacy professor, at the time also the head of the S.C. Society of Health System Pharmacists, talked of filing an ethics complaint against Harrell for “blatant abuse” of his political power to promote his business.
“Bobby Harrell has been told that this type of practice is not in the best interest of patients and the Board of Pharmacy said it was against the law since no physician was actually overseeing the dispensing,” Ray wrote.
“Mr. Harrell said if that was the case then he would change the law. For the most part, that ended the discussion.”