South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced Monday that the investigation into ethics complaints against Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell is now being referred to the State Grand Jury.
The report was passed on to Wilson last month, according to the Associated Press.
The complaint that sparked the investigation was filed by Ashley Landess of the South Carolina Policy Council.
Landess has accused Harrell of using his political influence to get a permit for his pharmaceutical business, nepotism by appointing his brother to a committee that screens judicial candidates, and using campaign funds to pay for travel expenses.
We've asked Harrell from the beginning to see his receipts and invoices. In fact, one year ago today, we hand delivered Harrell a formal request for his records. He still has not made those records available.
In the past, Harrell has called the complaints against him an attack driven by a personal and political vendetta.
In a statement released late Monday afternoon, Harrell says he is disappointed in Wilson for notifiying the press before he or his attorneys were contacted.
Wilson's spokesperson, Mark Powell, disputed that charge, saying Harrell's attorney was notified 30 minutes in advance before the media advisory was sent.
Harrell goes on to say he has cooperated fully with the investigation and been interviewed several times by SLED.
"At every stage of this investigation it was reiterated to us that investigators have found no areas of concern," said Harrell. "Given every indication we have received from SLED and the Attorney General, I am disappointed and shocked by this sudden change of course."
Harrell finishes his statement by demanding Wilson to release SLED's full report on the matter.
"This report contains the facts of this matter, facts that have been kept from the public and even kept from my attorneys and me," said Harrell.
Meanwhile, Powell says Wilson's office "cannot and will not release any SLED report, or any other documents."