Attorney General Alan Wilson said on Tuesday that he has returned $7,000 in contributions from embattled House Speaker Bobby Harrell.
Harrell made a personal contribution of $3,500 to sponsor an inaugural ball for Wilson and a PAC with which he is connected, the Palmetto Leadership Council, gave $3,500 to Wilson campaign.
Last week, Wilson's office announced that SLED is investigating Harrell on possible ethics violations. The violations stem from testimony by longtime Harrell nemesis Ashley Landess, Director of the South Carolina Leadership Council.
"As to past contributions my campaign has received from the Palmetto Leadership Council and/or Bobby Harrell personally, the Attorney General's Office is in no way conflicted in our responsibility to uphold the law. However, appearance does matter. Therefore, I have instructed my campaign to refund both contributions. I am doing this in an abundance of caution to avoid even the slightest appearance or impression that this office could be compromised in any way."
Through spokesperson Greg Foster, Harrell told WIS-TV that the allegations are "baseless attack that is driven by personal and political vendetta."