Thursday, June 6, 2013
Attorney General Alan Wilson told the Berkeley County Republican Breakfast that the ongoing SLED investigation into the Berkeley County School District’s involvement in the “Yes 4 Schools” campaign will be reviewed impartially and thoroughly once it is complete.
Wilson said he could not comment on the investigation, which centers on whether district employees improperly participated in the campaign.
“There are a thousand reasons why it can be taking as long as it’s taking,” Wilson told Saturday’s audience at the American Legion Post 166 in Goose Creek. “The public often thinks investigations take way too long. It’s like an iceberg, there’s a lot more beneath the surface than above the surface that’s going on, and there are also lots of other cases going on.”
Wilson anticipated a barrage of questions regarding the SLED investigation and jumped “straight to the meat” as he began his speech.
“This is a clinical process,” he said, comparing the investigation to preparing a death row inmate for lethal injection execution. “They swab the inmate’s arm with alcohol prior to injection so there will be no infection. In an execution you’d think worrying about infection is the last thing on their minds. Swabbing the arm is part of the clinical process. You do the same thing every time so as to keep passion, prejudice and personal judgment out of the process.
“This is my way of swabbing the arm.”
Wilson said he could only confirm that there is an investigation ongoing.
“We don’t investigate, SLED and the Grand Jury investigate,” he said. “But I can assure you that the process is currently working. SLED is working very hard to give us a formalized, criminal SLED report, an investigative report.”
The local Republican Party has been publicly critical of the Berkeley County School District, accusing district employees of promoting the $198 million “Yes 4 Schools” bond while on school district time and using district resources. The bond passed last November.
Republican Party members have been openly critical of the school board for offering to pay attorney’s fees for its employees under investigation.
Wilson assured his audience that the investigation would be thorough and not glossed over, and added the investigation will be finished when it’s finished. “It would be unfair and unethical for me to talk about the case,” he added.