SC attorney general returns money from Harrell

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Attorney General Alan Wilson is returning campaign contributions from House Speaker Bobby Harrell after an ethics complaint was filed against the Charleston lawmaker.

The State newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/YmlT82 ) Wilson's decision comes less than a week after he asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate the complaint against Harrell.

Wilson said he is returning $7,000 in contributions tied to Harrell.

The complaint against Harrell was filed by the South Carolina Policy Council, which contends Harrell violated state ethics laws.

Harrell has denied the charge.

Another watchdog group, Common Cause, says Wilson should have a private attorney decide whether to prosecute the speaker because of the campaign contribution.

Harrell spokesman Greg Foster says Wilson had solicited donations for his inaugural gala after his election in 2010.

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Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com

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