After latest indictment, some neighborhoods feel they're without - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

After latest indictment, some neighborhoods feel they're without representation

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)
(WIS) -

Unlike some people, Katie London definitely knows who represents her at the State House.

The reason: on Oct. 4, 2015, her neighborhood off Bush River Road, Pine Glen, was submerged by a cresting creek.

"It's what led me to seek out help with those representatives,” London said

Now, in just a matter of months, things have changed.

First, her state senator, John Courson was indicted and suspended. Now, her state representative, Rick Quinn, has also been indicted and suspended.

"I'm extremely surprised. Those are our elected officials, and as far as I knew, you know, they were working for us,” London said.

Courson's senate district and Quinn's house district overlap in other spots between Bush River Road and St. Andrews Road, like the Woodland Hills neighborhood.

"Now we're without representation, so now what do we do from here?" asked Robert Ellenburg, the president of the Woodland Hills Civic Association.

Ellenburg said it's important for his area to have a strong voice at the State House because of a nearby nightmare known as Malfunction Junction.

"It's in our backyard. It is our issue,” Ellenburg said. “It is our issue. It is our issue. And we want something done about it."

Ellenburg's neighbor, Tom Lawhead, has similar feelings about the political predicament.

"Obviously disappointment, discouragement, and it just brings to light what I saw 30 years ago,” he said.

That’s when he was a page at the State House.

"I was so disillusioned by what I saw going on back that I said I'd never get into politics,” Lawhead said.

Of course, both Senator Courson and Representative Quinn are considered innocent until proven guilty. Speaker Jay Lucas said the suspensions will remain in place until the matter is resolved or until the seats are declared vacant.

Meanwhile, Representative Nathan Ballentine said people in the affected districts are always welcome to call Representative Chip Huggins, Todd Atwater, or himself. Those three lawmakers represent neighboring portions of Lexington and Richland counties.

London said Representative Huggins has already gone above and beyond to help her neighborhood, despite district lines.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

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