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Protesters can sue Haley, court rules

COLUMBIA — Gov. Nikki Haley isn’t immune from being sued by Occupy Columbia protesters who were kicked off the Statehouse grounds in 2011, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

The Republican governor could theoretically appeal the decision by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her attorneys did not immediately return a message. A spokesman for Haley said the governor still had “several steps” before the matter was fully resolved.

The ruling was the latest step in a civil dispute that has been ongoing since Occupy Columbia launched its protest at the Statehouse grounds Oct. 15, 2011, part of a nationwide series of demonstrations against economic inequality.

Trial begins for Georgia lawmaker

ATLANTA — Prosecutors and defense attorneys offered different descriptions of state Sen. Don Balfour on Monday: he either intentionally claimed false reimbursements and other money from state government or was a dedicated public servant who was just sloppy with his expense reports.

A Fulton County Superior Court jury began hearing evidence Monday. Balfour is charged with 16 counts of making a false certificate, one count of theft and one count of false statement. He is expected to testify.

– Associated Press


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