L. Casey Manning

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L. Casey Manning
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Current Court Information:
Fifth Circuit, South Carolina
Title:   Judge
Service:
Active:   1994-2018
Past position:   Partner, Walker, Morgan and Manning
Past term:   1989-1994
Past position 2:   Assistant Attorney General for South Carolina
Past term 2:   1988-1989
Personal History
Born:   12/7/1950
Undergraduate:   University of South Carolina, 1973
Law School:   University of South Carolina, 1977

L. Casey Manning is a circuit court judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit in South Carolina.[1] He was elected to the court by the South Carolina General Assembly and assumed office on March 1, 1994. His current term expires on June 30, 2018.[2][3]

Education

Manning received his undergraduate degree in political science and history from the University of South Carolina in 1973 and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1977.[2]

Career

  • 1994-2018: Judge, 5th Judicial Circuit
  • 1989-1994: Partner, Walker, Morgan and Manning, Lexington, South Carolina
  • 1988-1989: Assistant Attorney General for South Carolina
  • 1979-1983: Attorney in private practice, Dillon County
  • 1980-1980: Part-time Instructor, Florence-Darlington Technical College
  • 1977: Admitted to the South Carolina Bar
  • 1973-1974: Constable and Agent, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division[2][4]

Notable cases

Contentious investigation into the Speaker of the House's campaign finances


Judge Manning is presiding over a case to determine whether the South Carolina Attorney General has the power to investigate House Speaker Bobby Harrell, Jr. for alleged misuse of campaign funds. On May 12, 2014, the judge ruled that Harrell must first be investigated by a committee of his fellow lawmakers, rather than by a grand jury.[5]


According to a 2012 investigation by The Post and Courier, Bobby Harrell, Jr., the speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, reimbursed himself $326,000 from his campaign funds but failed to keep accurate accounting of where the funds went. This documentation is required by the state to show that reimbursements are made only for political expenses, rather than personal purposes. The most controversial expenditures were related to Harrell's personal plane, which he claimed he only uses for "official legislative trips and politically related travel."[6] Over the past five years, he had reimbursed himself $231,561 for travel costs.[6]


In response to these revelations, South Carolina Common Cause, the South Carolina Democratic Party, and the South Carolina Policy Council requested that Attorney General Alan Wilson formally investigate the matter.[7] On February 28, 2013, South Carolina's State Law Enforcement Division confirmed that it had opened an investigation of Harrell as result of the South Carolina Policy Council's complaint.[8][9] On January 13, 2014, Wilson announced that the investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on Speaker Harrell would be referred to the state grand jury.[10]


Harrell and his attorneys challenged Wilson's move in court, arguing that the matter must first appear before the House Ethics Committee. Judge Manning was tasked with the decision of whether or not the state grand jury or the House Ethics Committee could, under state law, continue the investigation. To further complicate the matter, South Carolina is one of only two states where the legislature elects judges. Thus, Manning's decision could either positively or negatively impact one of the key leaders who elected him. The judge, after an initial hearing in early May, said that he was planning to take his time to come to the right decision.[11]


Manning's ruling on May 12, allowing Harrell to bypass the grand jury, came with the explanation that no evidence of criminal conduct had been displayed.

Despite multiple requests, the Attorney General has failed to offer or present to the Court any evidence or allegations which are criminal in nature. Therefore, the Court is left only with . allegations of ethics violations propounded by a citizen's letter.[sic][12]

—Judge Casey Manning[5]


The ruling is consistent with another decision by the judge; he stopped a conservative activist who attempted to file a criminal complaint against Governor Nikki Haley when she was a representative. However, former Attorney General Charlie Condon did not agree with the decision and argued, "It would create special privileges for members of the General Assembly for possible criminal activity."[5]

See also

External links

References

South CarolinaSouth Carolina Supreme CourtSouth Carolina Court of AppealsSouth Carolina Circuit CourtsSouth Carolina Masters-in-EquitySouth Carolina Family CourtsSouth Carolina Magistrate CourtsSouth Carolina Municipal CourtsSouth Carolina Probate CourtsUnited States District Court for the District of South CarolinaUnited States bankruptcy court, District of South CarolinaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Fourth CircuitSouth Carolina countiesSouth Carolina judicial newsSouth Carolina judicial electionsJudicial selection in South CarolinaSouthCarolinaTemplate.jpg