Hearing on stimulus funds suit looming

The decision on whether a lawsuit on the stimulus funds naming Governor Mark Sanford as defendant will be heard in federal court or the South Carolina Supreme Court may be coming soon.
Counsel for Governor Mark Sanford Wednesday removed the second of two actions regarding a disputed $700 million in stimulus funds to federal court. The Governor was made a respondent in the suit, originally filed by attorneys Dick Harpootlian and Dwight Drake on behalf of Chapin High School senior Casey Edwards a month ago. USC law student Justin Williams’ name was added to the suit when it was refiled last Friday in the State Supreme Court. The Governor’s counsel filed to remove that suit to federal court, because it primarily deals with federal law..
Spokespersons for Sanford have intimated that there is a a political angle to the suit by pointing out that Harpootlian is a former State Democractic Party chairman and Drake is a former video poker operative.
earlier this week, the Governor’s counsel filed to remove the South Carolina Association of School Administrator’s suit to federal court. Friday is the deadline for a federal judge to receive briefs. On Monday, the court will hear arguments on whether to keep that case in federal court.
Both sides say the July first deadline to request the stimulus funds means a quick resolution is preferred.