UPDATE: Late Thursday afternoon, the committee added Nelson Mullins partner and University of South Carolina trustee Thad Westbrook to the list of people called as witnesses. Original story continues below:
House Ethics Committee members on Thursday afternoon released a list of people who will be issued subpoenas to give testimony in the illegal lobbying investigation against Gov. Nikki Haley later this month.
The committee will call 10 witnesses who will discuss allegations that Haley illegally lobbied for Lexington Medical Center and Wilbur Smith & Associates during her time as a state representative. The names include:
- John Rainey, the GOP power-broker who filed the original corruption lawsuit against Haley
- Michael Biediger, Lexington Medical Center CEO
- Dan Jones, Lexington Medical Center Chairman
- James D’Alessio, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of SC VP of Governmental Affairs
- Duncan McIntosh, BCBS of SC general counsel
- Earl Hunter, fmr. Department of Health and Environmental Control commissioner
- William “Billy” Boan, McGuire Woods Consulting
- Tony Denny, Denny Public Affairs
- Robert Ferrell, CDM Smith vice president
- Gregory P. Harris, a Columbia attorney
Interestingly, lawmakers did not call LMC Foundation CEO Tim James — Haley’s boss during her time working for the hospital. Foundation and hospital officials have denied that Haley was employed to lobby for them, although Haley attorney Butch Bowers himself said they would have been admitting to breaking the law if they had said otherwise.
The committee is also seeking any of Wilbur Smith’s documents regarding contracts with the departments of Transportation and Agriculture, and all of Lexington Medical Center’s documents pertaining to Haley’s employment. In addition, lawmakers are asking other companies such as BCBS and Time Warner Cable for any documents regarding donations made to the LMC Foundation at Haley’s request.
The list of witnesses was created during a closed session of the Ethics Committee on Thursday. Lawmakers are required to give a reason when going into executive session, but committee chairman Roland Smith (R-Warrenville) simply ignored the question and walked away when asked after the meeting. A House clerk told reporters the committee needed to discuss legal matters, according to the Post & Courier’s Stephen Largen.
The ethics hearing will be held on June 28. Look for updates from Palmetto Public Record as they become available.