Letters among prosecutors shed light on ongoing investigation into legislative corruption

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COLUMBIA, South Carolina — Authorities continue to investigate corruption allegations among South Carolina's legislators, nearly 10 months after the guilty plea of one of the state's top lawmakers, according to documents released Thursday by Attorney General Alan Wilson's office.

In an email dated last month, Chief Deputy Attorney General John McIntosh asked the head of the state's police agency to share results of its investigation into lawmakers when completed with Solicitor David Pascoe, whom Wilson had designated to handle the case that began with the prosecution of then-House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

In the message to State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel, McIntosh also pointed out that, while Wilson's office had recused itself from investigations into specific lawmakers, Wilson "has not recused this office from any other matters."

Last year, Wilson designated Pascoe to head up prosecution against Harrell, who ultimately pleaded guilty to six misdemeanor campaign spending violations and resigned last fall. As part of his plea deal, the 11-term Charleston Republican agreed to help in any other investigations into wrongdoing involving the Legislature.

No other lawmakers have been charged, and the names of any legislators under investigation have been redacted from documents released by the State Law Enforcement Division and Wilson, whose office declined Thursday to comment on any ongoing matters.

In SLED's December 2013 report, released late last year, 11 of the 42 pages were completely or mostly blacked out. SLED cited a provision in the public records law that exempts releasing information to be used in a future or likely law enforcement action.

Details in the report include that Harrell told investigators it was a legitimate campaign expense to fly his airplane to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a high school baseball tournament in 2009. Those on the flight included the coach's wife and two players' siblings. Harrell called it a "see and be seen trip with my constituents."

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