In what is literally a case of "He said, she said," South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Speaker Bobby Harrell of the state House of Representatives fought a war of words in the media Friday.
Haley said that the Republican Speaker is meddling in an ethics investigation of her actions before she was elected Governor of South Carolina.
"What we are seeing now is absolutely unprecedented," the Republican governor said.
"No speaker has ever done this."
Meanwhile, Greg Foster said his boss -- Harrell -- is engaged in a "campaign of mass distraction."
The dispute stems from allegations that Haley violated ethics rules on reporting income from work she did for the Lexington Medical Center Foundation while she was a member of the S.C. House.
The ethics committee previously dismissed a complaint against Haley.
Late Friday, Foster issued a statement for Harrell:
"Statements made by Governor Haley today at a press conference are simply not true."
"It is not true to claim that lawyers for the House Ethics Committee were 'directed' to refuse to meet with the Governor's lawyers in order to accept the documents the Committee requested. The truth is, the Governor's lawyers did in fact present those documents directly to counsel for the Ethics Committee. In fact, we now know that the Governor's legal team - in a 30-minute meeting with lawyers for the Ethics Committee - were given an opportunity to fully discuss these documents. All of this took place yesterday [Thursday] and to assert otherwise is not the truth."
House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham said, "The ethics rule change that the House adopted was introduced over a year ago."
Bingham went on to say the full House adopted the ethics rule by a 98-0 roll call vote.
See the Times next week for more on the dispute.
By Tommy Howard
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