Post And Courier
South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell has reimbursed himself more than $325,000 from his campaign war chest since 2008 but has produced no receipts or itemized invoices accounting for the spending as required by state law, a Post and Courier examination has found.
State politicians must maintain such documentation for four years to prove they are using campaign money for political rather than personal spending. Harrell told the newspaper that all his expenses are legitimate. But the State Ethics Commission said that without the required documentation, it is impossible to confirm that Harrell spent the money properly.
State law also requires candidates to itemize their expenditures on disclosure forms filed with the commission. Portions of Harrell’s forms lack such itemization. Asked about the matter, Harrell’s office said in a statement: “The Speaker is in full compliance with all requirements of the SC Ethics Act.”
Many of the reimbursements cover the speaker’s costs for using his private plane for “official legislative trips and politically related travel,” Harrell’s office said in an emailed response to the newspaper’s questions. The office said flying the four-seat, single-engine Cirrus SR22 costs “as much as $800 or $900” a leg. His office did not respond to written questions asking how the speaker arrived at those figures. Harrell pilots the plane himself.
In addition to attending campaign events and fundraisers for other House members, Harrell said in a statement that he uses the funds for travel related
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