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Judge Dismisses Ethics Case Against Haley

Fifth Circuit judge dismisses John Rainey's lawsuit

A South Carolina judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against Gov. Nikki Haley Wednesday, removing the case from the court system but not clearing Haley of wrongdoing.

Fifth Circuit Judge Casey Manning ruled that his court was not the proper venue to decide a case involving alleged ethics violations that occurred while Haley served in the House of Representatives.

John Rainey's lawsuit alleged that Haley violated multiple ethics laws, including illegally lobbying for her former employer, Lexington Medical Center, while she was a state representative.

Haley's lawyers attempted to have the lawsuit thrown out by the S.C. Supreme Court in January, but the justices upheld the circuit court's right to hear it.

With the ruling dismissed from circuit court, Rainey could take his charges to the House Ethics Committee.

Five Republicans, including Chairman Rep. Roland Smith (R-Aiken), make up the six-person ethics panel, but Smith told the Columbia Free Times that they would treat Haley fairly if her case reached them.

“We’ve got honest people on the Ethics Committee that really take their job seriously,” Smith said.

But according to a recent study, there's reason to doubt the Ethics Committee's ability to enforce its own laws. South Carolina earned an "F" for the quality of its ethics enforcement agencies in a recent . 

"The State Ethics Commission is these days understaffed, underfunded and widely thought to lack teeth," State Integrity Investigation reporter Corey Hutchins wrote in his report. "Lawmakers are theoretically self-regulated by their respective ethics committees in the House and Senate."

Rainey criticized and identified loopholes in South Carolina ethics laws during a March 14 op-ed in The State newspaper.

"Our ethics law makes a farce of the notion of accountability and transparency, and therefore contributes to the status of South Carolina as a national laughingstock," Rainey said.

Dee Marie March 22, 2012 at 10:02 PM
And on behalf of women, her inability to prioritize and tending to "rumors" in the middle of her rocky tenure is so "Palin" like...not stateswoman like at all. From an owner of two businesses, and someone who is an executive coach, she's very embarrassing.
Rusty Inman March 23, 2012 at 01:59 PM
First, how about unlocking your CAPS key. People who yell while debating an issue are people who aren't very confident about their arguments and aren't really sure anyone will listen unless they, well, yell. Second, as much as you may think that your writing is on par with that of William Faulkner, it's not. So use some punctuation (and, if you'll unlock that CAPS key, it will help with the punctuation)! Third, if you're going to mention someone's name, at least take the time to get the spelling right. Google it, if you must, but get it right! It's Saul Alinsky. Fourth, it might be a good idea for you and your buddies who perjoratively throw Saul Alinsky's name around--it is as if Newt Gingrich, faux historian, has given you guys some new epithet beyond "Nazi" or "Socialist" or "Communist" to use in referencing the president and his supporters--to know something about his philosophy and his place in history. I don't think you have a clue who he is or what he did, otherwise you would have spelled his name correctly.
Rusty Inman March 23, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Representative Smith's assurance that Ms. Haley will be treated "fairly" by the House Ethics Committee is not very assuring to me. I have no doubt but that she will be treated, well, more than "fairly." I have no doubt but that her interests will be represented more than "fairly." What would assure me would be a promise that the interests of the people of South Carolina, the interests of the public that Ms. Haley was elected to serve and the interests of the people that the members of the HEC were elected to serve, would be treated "fairly." Judge Manning's jurisdictional decision means that the only "judicial" relief available to the people of South Carolina per the possibility that Ms. Haley violated the law via accepting money that created a conflict of interest is the House Ethics Committee. One wonders how confidently the people of South Carolina can expect that their interests will be represented in the HEC as strongly and as diligently as those of Ms. Haley.
Rusty Inman March 23, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Dave, Dave! I'm not sure I would publicly reference John Rainey as either being a communist or using, as you put it, "commie tactict." I mean, a lot of people around the state know John and you just open yourself up to the ridicule of, well, a lot of people around the state. Dave, what you refer to as "harrass the politicians" is, in actuality, simply asking elected officials to be accountable to the people who elected them. Or, when they refuse to be held accountable, as is the case so often with Ms. Haley, protesting their unwillingness to be held accountable. Or, when there is a sense that they are unwilling to be held accountable because they are hiding something, as is the case so often with Ms. Haley (money received from Wilbur Smith, money received from Lexington Memorial Hospital, job application for Lexington Memorial Hospital, circumstances surrounding dismissal of Darla Moore from USC Board of Trustees, issues related to deleting of emails, events surrounding DHEC decision per Savannah River port, and on and on and on), demanding that they be investigated by the proper authorities. Dave, one of the differences between Americans and those who live under totalitarian rule (i.e., "commies") is that we are free to elect our leaders and equally free to hold them accountable. "Commies" don't get to do that!
Nigel Humphries March 27, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Also typical, Republican spelling: harrass tactict.

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