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Judge considers case against House Speaker Harrell - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Judge considers case against House Speaker Harrell

By MEG KINNARD
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A judge is considering whether a case against House Speaker Bobby Harrell should be handled by a legislative panel.

Circuit Judge Casey Manning said Friday he will need about a week to decide how the allegations against the powerful Charleston Republican should be handled.

Harrell's attorneys say the House Ethics Committee should handle the case.

Attorney General Allan Wilson says the case is criminal and should be dealt with the State Grand Jury. That panel is considering whether Harrell should be indicted on charges that he used his office to boost his finances by using influence to get a permit for his pharmaceutical business and that he improperly appointed his brother to a judicial candidate screening committee.

Harrell's lawyers say Wilson tried to intimidate the speaker into supporting legislation.

Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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