- Associated Press - Friday, October 28, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Richland County Recreation Commission has refused Gov. Nikki Haley’s request to turn over an internal report into possible sexual harassment by the commission’s indicted former leader.

Haley requested the report and other documents earlier this month, saying she needs the information because she thinks she has the legal authority to follow a request from several Richland County lawmakers to remove five members of the board who supported ex-director James Brown III.

Brown resigned after he was indicted on a misconduct in office charge. Prosecutors say Brown tried to coerce female employees to have sex with him. The commission is also fighting several lawsuits over Brown’s behavior.

Several media outlets report that the commission turned over other documents requested by the governor, who asked for records about the hiring of relatives of Brown and an explanation of his $40,000 raise.

But the internal harassment report has been contentious for months. The commission has given it to lawmakers, but refused requests from media outlets. Board members refused to give their reason for not turning over the report at their three-minute special meeting Thursday night, but later sent a statement saying the document wasn’t going to be given to the governor because it is an issue in a lawsuit.

The commission planned to turn the other 500-or-so pages of information over to Haley on Friday.

“The governor isn’t going to comment on information she hasn’t yet seen,” spokeswoman Chaney Adams said in a statement. “But once she has the opportunity to review what has - and what has not - been provided in response to her request, she will almost certainly have something to say.”

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