The house was packed Tuesday as lawyers for House Speaker Bobby Harrell and Attorney General Alan Wilson argued their respective cases in the on-going ethics fight now before the S.C. Supreme Court.
At issue is whether ethics violation allegations against legislators should first be investigated by the respective chamber's ethics committee or by a state grand jury.
Harrell, R-Charleston, has been accused of using his campaign funds for personal use and abusing his position to benefit his pharmaceutical company, among other allegations raised in reports by The Post and Courier and the Columbia-based, libertarian-leaning group the S.C. Policy Council. Harrell has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Circuit Judge Casey Manning ruled in May that Harrell's ethics-related case must first be vetted by the House Ethics Committee; Wilson contends the law gives him the right to investigate Harrell and to convene a grand jury as part of that investigation.
Get a play-by-play recap of the hearing below.
Check back with postandcourier.com for further updates.
State Attorney General Alan Wilson (left) and House Speaker Bobby Harrell×
The lobby at the S.C. Supreme Court is packed ahead of the Harrell-Wilson hearing.×