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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 18, 2011 at 06:25 PM
First, you have NO clue what you are talking about, You are a right wing campaign rant Second, The unions built America, they got no "special" treatment for the jobs that they did and do (in fact many people find the work most union members do objectionable) Third, union powers grew as their membership grew, and it did in SOME cases get out of hand, that has been reigned in considerabley in last decade (nothing to do with politics) But, a union fights for fair wages and benefits as a BODY so don't blame them for having some things better,they earned and fought collectively for them. If your world sucks - BLAME the Corporation or whom you work for - Don't blame the unions.
Tom Gallagher November 18, 2011 at 06:37 PM
This guy, YEA, you Joe, ought to be a bit more informed on these matters before you POST an opinion. Besides, the issue in THESE comments are concerning "TRICKY Nikki" and how and her paid fors are robbing the state blind while cutting state jobs and Medicaid and..... and how dishonest she is and why she should be RECALLED - Look at all the BS in not even a year in office! SHEHEEN 2012 (recall election winner) and the real winner of the election - not the one that had the position PURCHASED for her by the "GOPTEA Foundations" GOTTA GO TRIKKI, GOTTA GO!
Moudsie November 18, 2011 at 06:47 PM
Yup -- yet they keep doing it and keep getting away with it. Vote them all out.
Joe November 18, 2011 at 07:05 PM
PLEASE GO BACK TO NY!!!!!!!
Owen November 18, 2011 at 07:50 PM
Are you on Haley's payroll by any chance?
1BrianWorkman1 November 18, 2011 at 07:52 PM
This no more illegal than Nasty Pelosi doing insider trading on the stock market?!?!?
Joe November 18, 2011 at 08:01 PM
Barney Frank should be cellmates with buster for all he did wrong and these Southern liberals complain, they should see what goes on in NY politics!
Dennis McDarby November 18, 2011 at 09:26 PM
This is GOP standard operating procedure. I'm sure she saw nothing wrong with it. She is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
sue November 18, 2011 at 09:27 PM
Your spelling says it all.
Joe November 18, 2011 at 09:30 PM
I have to say the Haley has not impressed me at all in her first year as Governor. Now Mitch Daniels Of Indiana is doing a phenomenal job!
Dennis McDarby November 18, 2011 at 09:35 PM
All of the bought politicians need to be voted out if we can ever expect to have representative gov. That goes for Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and the rest of the crooks.
stanley seigler November 18, 2011 at 10:33 PM
@Tom Gallagher re: I am a South Carolinian by way of NY - Damn Yankee yeah, damn yankee...go back to NY...and put all blacks on a boat to africa...and get ICE to return all latinos (illegal or otherwise) back to mexico or where ever... get all the germans back to germany...and especially all japanese back to japan...after all they stabbed us in the back at pearl harbor... thought we had gotten past this crap...guess not. OTOH...agree with many of your comments/opines...welcome to my beloved South...glad you saw the light. havent followed the SC gov so have no opine...but OH, FL, WI, should recall their governors...
joanne November 19, 2011 at 12:04 AM
Apparently you are unaware that the legislation that didn't come to the floor when there was other more important legislation being addressed, that had a negative impact on a Pelosi family investment, was brought to the floor by Pelosi shortly thereafter, and with her support, was passed. It was good legislation, and her own personal bottom line was not the issue for her. 60 Minutes didn't want to tell you that, though they knew the legislation passed the House when she brought it to the floor in short order. At least on of the Republicans took the information he had, and made a "sure bet" in the stock market that he knew would win. THAT is insider trading. What Pelosi did was know that Visa was going to drop in value, and bought it anyway. She lost money. The best INVESTMENT is to buy stock that you think will increase in value over the long haul, but more important, will pay good, steady dividends. That will provide an income for a long time.
joanne November 19, 2011 at 12:21 AM
What did Frank do wrong? He offered and got passed, legislation to put in regulations on Wall Street dealings, to stop them from cheating their customers, like what they did that caused millions of Americans to lose the money in their 401k's. They gambled with that money without using conservative principles, which they were to use by law, and then just threw up their hands when the economy crashed. That was possible because Congress removed all the regulations put into place because of the Great Depression. They were put into place so that would not happen again. Once they were gone, Wall Street and the Big Banks went back to their pre-Great Depression tricks. Barney Frank started putting those conservative regulations back. By law, Corporations must only look to the bottom line. They can't worry about how it affects workers, ecology, the end users, or the economy. The Government must protect workers, the economy, etc. for us; that is what government is supposed to do. That is not just Liberal, that is Conservative too.
Jennifer November 19, 2011 at 12:23 AM
Uh, Joe, you obviously already have some.... "I recently wrote the CEO of McDonalds who claimed that they needed tax reform, I asked him just how greedy can they be, their profits and stock are at all time highs! If they really wanted to fuel the economy, double the wages, pay health benefits and give their workers a 401k with a match! So burgers would go up? Big deal!" Joe - 10:13am on Friday, November 18, 2011 Based on that statement, I believe that the only difference between our arguements is I do not lay the blame at the feet of the unions for the problem. If you are lucky enough to be in an industry that has a union, then you are provided the means to fight the greed you describe above. Otherwise, on our own, as individuals, we are unable to to fight for "better wages, health benefits, and a 401K with a match" that would fuel the economy. The corporation will just find a more compliant employee who will work for less. Instead, I blame a government bought by the, what did you call them, oh yea 'greedy' corporations and banks. I blame the 279 congressmen that signed Grover Norquist's 'Taxpayer protection pledge" so they are no longer there working for the best interest of their constituents, but working for Grover Norquist. I blame the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which prohibited commercial banks from engaging in the investment business. These are the things that brought us to where we are, not Unions.
Joe November 19, 2011 at 01:13 AM
Oh Jennifer, Bill Clinton repealed Glass Segal....................
Joe November 19, 2011 at 01:14 AM
What did Frank do wrong? OMG you cannot be serious, If you don't know I cannot or will not waste my time telling you
Charles Ewing November 19, 2011 at 01:47 AM
Why he word 'MOST' prrceeding eash item??
Charles Ewing November 19, 2011 at 01:54 AM
You must not kniw either.
Charles Ewing November 19, 2011 at 01:56 AM
Nasty who?? Inside trading ?? Dig deeper before you comment...
Anonymous November 19, 2011 at 04:26 AM
Newsmax is worse thn Faux News.
Jennifer November 19, 2011 at 06:35 AM
Joe - Yes, I am aware of that. The repeal of Glass-Steagall began in the 1980s and finally was completely repealed by the 106th congress and Bill Clinton in 1999. The republican's and democrat's fingerprints are all over the final legislation to complete the repeal of Glass-Steagall. Also, guess what? both democrats and republicans have signed Grover Norquist's 'Taxpayer protection pledge'. It isn't about party, it is about greed. There is plenty of blame to go around and not just in Washington. To quote factcheck.org 'The U.S. economy is enormously complicated. Screwing it up takes a great deal of cooperation.' And we all cooperated beautifully.
joanne November 19, 2011 at 08:20 AM
Most of the repeal of regulations came under the Bush administration when he had a Republican Congress. Joe, if repealing Glass Steagall is a problem created by Clinton at the end of his administration, let's just put it back. What Glass Steagall did was say that savings and lending banks couldn't be investment (gambling) banks. When the two were permitted to combine, they became too big to fail. That is why George Bush had to go to Pelosi and Reid and ask for $700,000,000 to save the Big Banks in 2008, although he said he was going to buy back the bad loans and save the housing market too. He bailed out the Big Banks and AIG with TARP money, with no strings attached. Fortunately, they only gave him half of it. When he came back for the other half, Pelosi and Reid refused and said that would go to Obama, who saved the auto industry and loaned money to Banks who had to give stock to the government and sign notes to pay it back. All but $25 billion has been paid back so far. To George Bush's credit, though he didn't understand what had happened, he did reach out to the Democratic Congress for help. Hoover just sat there and waited for the "Market" to correct itself. Bush acted boldly in the opposite direction. Let's put the Depression Era regulations back in place, and go from there.
stanley seigler November 19, 2011 at 04:56 PM
@Jennifer re: both democrats and republicans have signed Grover Norquist's 'Taxpayer protection pledge'...It isn't about party, it is about greed. FYI. Sitting Democrats who have signed the pledge are Sen. Ben Nelson (NE) and House members Robert Andrews (NJ) and Ben Chandler (KY). it is about greed and party philosophy and ideology...a mistaken belief (aka GOP voodoo economics) that the 1% will invest and grow the economy...true to some extent...but consumer spending trumps investment by the 1%. a major factor in economic growth is consumer spending by the middle class (MC)...and if the MC has to spend more on health care, education, etcetc (the result of deep spending cuts)...then they have less or none to spend on consumers goods... opine: the 1% (or 10%) will spend no less on consumer goods if their taxes are increased by 1% or whatever...neither will an increase substantially reduce their investing in businesses or the stock market...if they can make 10% vice 15%, they will still go for it. and a tax increase on rich folks would do much to reduce budget deficits and the debt. ask buffett, gates and the "patriotic millionaires"... regs are needed to protect us from greedy bastards...repeal of glass steagall was a huge mistake by DEMs and GOPs...it had protected us for 70 some years... the unregulated free market works only in a society where there are no bad guys...nirvana
Patch.com November 19, 2011 at 05:55 PM
Some comments in this thread have been removed. Please remember that name-calling is against our terms of service.
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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