Tags: bobby harrell | resigns | plead | guilty | south carolina

Bobby Harrell Resigns: Former SC House Speaker Admits to Misusing Funds

By    |   Friday, 24 Oct 2014 09:14 AM

Bobby Harrell, one of the most powerful legislators in South Carolina politics, resigned Thursday after pleading guilty to six counts of misusing his campaign account for his own personal benefit.

Harrell, former House Speaker, will pay $30,000 in fines thanks to a plea deal that was part of a larger state and federal investigation into political misconduct among legislators, according to The Post and Courier. He will also have to pay another $94,000 to South Carolina's general fund for misuse of campaign dollars, First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe said.

The plea deal, which includes three years of probation for Harrell but no prison time, required the lawmaker to resign his position immediately, the Post and Courier stated.

"I have agreed to this today to end what has been a two-year nightmare," Harrell said in a statement issued after the hearing. "This has been incredibly hard on my family and me, and it is time for it to end. We have a fundamental disagreement over the proper use of a campaign account to fly a private aircraft to conduct state and campaign business, but to continue to fight this would have taken at least another year, possibly two."

"Cathy and I are deeply appreciative to everyone who has offered words of encouragement and prayers on our behalf. My passion for our state remains as strong as it has ever been, and I will continue to look for ways to serve the Lowcountry and South Carolina," the statement continued.

Pascoe hinted that Harrell's plea could be just the beginning since legislator's agreement requires him to cooperate with ongoing investigations, wrote WJBF-TV.

"The defendant agrees to be fully truthful and forthright with the attorneys and investigators for the solicitor and the government and thorough and complete debriefings of the defendant's knowledge concerning unlawful activities, should the solicitor or the government seek his cooperation," Pascoe said, according to WJBF-TV.

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said in a statement that he believes Harrell's plea shows that "no one in South Carolina is above the law."

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Bobby Harrell, one of the most powerful legislators in South Carolina politics, resigned Thursday after pleading guilty to six counts of misusing his campaign account for his own personal benefit.
bobby harrell, resigns, plead, guilty, south carolina
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2014-14-24
Friday, 24 Oct 2014 09:14 AM
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