• Misconduct trial against longtime senator moves forward

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The misconduct trial against a longtime South Carolina senator accused of pocketing more than $130,000 in campaign donations is moving forward.

    Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen on Tuesday ruled that Solicitor David Pascoe has authority to prosecute Republican Sen. John Courson.

    Pascoe is the special prosecutor investigating potential Statehouse corruption. Courson's attorneys wanted Mullen to dismiss the case, arguing Pascoe's authority is limited to two legislators named in a state police report Pascoe used to prosecute former House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

    Attorney General Alan Wilson handed Harrell's case to Pascoe. Pascoe says Wilson used the same arguments unsuccessfully before the state Supreme Court when he tried to fire Pascoe from the probe.

    Courson has been suspended since March on charges of using campaign donations for personal expenses and misconduct in office.

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