Update: Allegations Dismissed in Haley Ethics Case
The S.C. House Ethics Committee has cleared Gov. Nikki Haley of illegally lobbying charges.
The S.C. House Ethics Committee dismissed charges against Gov. Nikki Haley of illegally lobbying while a member of the House.
After a two-hour executive session Friday, the committee ruled Haley was clear of all seven allegations.
In a statement released Friday, Haley said the "Ethics Committee did its job thoroughly, professionally, and well."
"It’s just a shame that our judicial and legislative bodies have had to waste so much of their time on phony political charges that never had any evidence behind them or any basis in fact," Haley said in the release. "Despite these attempts at political distraction, I’m pleased that our administration continues to stay focused on what matters, bringing in record new job announcements, cutting taxes for small businesses and reforming state government.”
J. Roland Smith, chair of the House Ethics Committee, thanked all parties involved for their efforts to "get to the bottom" of the case.
"That's what we were after, to be absolutely certain that we've uncovered everything," Smith said. "Will everyone agree with the decision? Obviously not, but it's a decision of the facts that was discovered and brought before this committee."
This is the second time Haley has been cleared of ethics violations by a six-member committee.
The ethics committee had previously dismissed the case, but reopened it weeks later seeking additional information.
Haley denied that she ever blurred the line between her legislative duties and her work as a fundraiser for Lexington Medical Center Foundation or as a consultant for Wilbur Smith and Associates.
"I did not lobby in any way, whatsoever, for anyone at any time," Haley said during her testimony on Thursday.
In her surprise appearance, Haley lashed out against John Rainey, the Republican activist who filed an ethics lawsuit against her.
Rainey was subpoenaed by Haley's attorneys but was never called to testify. He was sequestered during the entire hearing.
None of the witnesses who testified Thursday said Haley did any wrongdoing.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Gov. Nikki Haley.