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South Carolina's treasurer and attorney general are clashing over a plan to use law firms to review state pension fund investments for fraud and underscoring a soured relationship for top Republicans.

Attorney General Alan Wilson said Wednesday that fellow Republican Curtis Loftis had supported that proposal before an about-face during the past month. The state's pension plans had nearly $19 billion in investments, according to the last formal financial report.

Meanwhile, Loftis released a statement asserting his authority over issues with retirement funds and questioned whether lawyers were needed because he has "extensive monitoring and other resources" in place to watch over pension funds.

"Like many Treasurers across the country I am the custodian of the state's funds," Loftis said. "We closely monitor these funds to make sure they are well protected."

Earlier this year, Loftis told legislators he needed authority to spend more money to monitor taxpayer money. And Legislators gave him temporary authority to choose lawyers for his office's outside legal work, a move Republican Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed with Wilson's backing.

On Wednesday, The State newspaper in Columbia reported that Wilson's 2012 campaign received $12,000 in contributions from partners in Labaton Sucharow of New York, one of the firms that would review investments.

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