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Updated: Gov. Haley Sued Over Purported Ethics Violations

Suit asks court to decide whether or not Haley used her office for personal gain while she was working in the South Carolina General Assembly.

A former chairman for the Board of Economic Advisors has filed suit against Gov. Nikki Haley, questioning whether or not she broke ethics laws while she was serving in the state's House of Representatives.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Richland County on behalf of prominent GOP fundraiser John Rainey, and focuses on the then-representative Haley's job as a fundraiser for the Lexington Medical Center, and whether or not she used her position as a lawmaker for personal benefit by working as a lobbyist. 

"While serving in the House, Haley exploited her public office for personal financial gain by trading on her influence and office to benefit corporations that were paying her money," the lawsuit reads, referencing immediately her role at LMC.

It also accuses Haley of failing to report a relationship with Wilbur Smith and Associates, which was lobbying lawmakers and "secretly" paying Haley, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit asks the court to rule on whether Haley's work with WSA, which was not disclosed until the final days before the runoff for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and LMC while she was a state lawmaker violates the state's ethics code.

A judgment, according to the lawsuit, will offer "guidance" moving forward.

Rainey, an attorney who lives in Camden, has been a vocal critic of Haley, saying he believes her to be corrupt "to the core of her being."

"This reeks of what it is: sour grapes," Haley said on Thursday afternoon after a town hall meeting with Alcoa employees in Goose Creek. She pointed out that Rainey had hired former state Democratic chairman Dick Harpootlian as his attorney.

Rainey has held several powerful positions in the state. He is the current chairman for Easlan Capital, former chairman for the state's Public Service Authority, and served on numerous political campaigns in financial capacities, including President George Bush in 2000 and 2004, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in 2002, U.S. Sen. Jim Demint in 2004 and Republican nominee John McCain in 2008.

Rainey currently serves on the S.C. finance team for former Ambassador Jon Huntsman's campaign for president.

“This bogus lawsuit is a transparent political stunt by a disgruntled Republican has-been and the chairman of the state Democratic Party," said Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey. 

"It’s a shame they would waste the court system’s time with this obviously frivolous suit.  The governor acted completely appropriately in all these matters – something that has been made clear every time these same two career political antagonists try and rehash these issues."

Tom Gallagher November 19, 2011 at 06:07 PM
Jennifer - I read both your posts and i have issues with both (agree with some) but more issues than aggereements. As far as "THE PLEDGE" from the worm lobbyist Grover - NO, sworn to serve the people Pol should even think about taking a pledge that impacts our country's discourse, especially economically. The Congress or senate. You say Dems have taken the oath? yes, two Congressmen - OUT of 445, most of them GOPTEA'r (8% approval rate and have destroyed our "credit rating") The truth of the matter is, and it is based on facts and real figures and real bi-partisan and non-partisan economists findings and predictions. This country is in big trouble if the GOPTEA has much more to say about how this country is run. The GOPTEA Pols (in and running) have this plan and only this plan - Get Obama out of office (huge mistake if you look at what they want to install) have COMPLETE party power to gain personal profit (insider trading and lobbyist payoffs, in all the papers this week) make sure the upper 2% are treated like gold along with the 2 trillion dollar holdout Corps (because their the job creators, don't ask the POTUS where the jobs are - ASK - the "job creators" ? ) The biggest goal of the GOPTEA is to kill the middle class and the american way of life. Thats the way it is, no more no less - no "trickle down" anything, no wealthy make our lives better - thats all BS. Voters need to wake up - A vote for a GOPTEA'r is a vote to END your way of life for good - FOR REAL !
Jennifer November 19, 2011 at 07:52 PM
@ Stanley - 'You have to take human nature where you find it' - George Washington. Well said. I agree with you and I believe I said as much in an earlier post (possibly not as clearly). However, I will stand by my statement to Joe that it is not about party, but about greed. The reason being is that I wanted it understood that just because I believe that a certain decision is wrong does not automatically mean I am naive enough to think that only one party makes bad decisions. Nor do I believe that only one party is the 'evil doers' and the other are 'saviours'. Or that they are immune to tempation. Or that they never have lapses in ethics, etc. etc. They are human after all. We have to stop thinking in terms of 'good vs. evil' and get more realistic as to what really needs to be done. Repealing Glass-Steagall was a bad decision no matter who made it and it needs to be corrected.
Dennis McDarby November 19, 2011 at 08:32 PM
Have you ever considered the fact that the real problem with the states are the yo-yos who run the states and municipalities that find it easier to cave into union demands than to stand up to them. These people need to grow some balls.
stanley seigler November 20, 2011 at 02:00 AM
@Jennifer re: 'You have to take human nature where you find it' - George Washington. gawd hate to disagree with the most brilliant leader in our history...but, 'take[ing] human nature where you find it'...ie, to accept and excuse our behavior because it's human nature is a reason for the current sad state of affairs... re: 'naive enough to think that only one party makes bad decisions.' for sure, for sure, say the valley girl...defending a party bs is another reason for the current sad state of affairs...we can/could do so much better if the common good is our JOB #1...NOT defending party crap/bs...eg; we could end hunger and poverty...provide fair and appropriate education (FAPE) for all...probably wont happen even in God's lifetime...for we (DEM/GOPs)...continue to 'take human nature where we find it.'...and argue party crap. tho not religious...much could be accomplished if we were a true christian nation and not a bunch of hypocrites. so much for california dreaming...
stanley seigler November 20, 2011 at 02:05 AM
@Adam Crisp know it wont happen...but posting adhoms may encourage comments...and help people see ignorance...

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