Five more indictments issued as State House investigation contin - - Columbia, South Carolina

Five more indictments issued as State House investigation continues

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)

Solicitor David Pascoe has issued more indictments in his investigation into possible corruption at the State House, according to a release from the solicitor's office.

Pascoe announced the indictments of five people in connection with his investigation: Richard Quinn, Sr., Richard Quinn, Jr., John Courson, Tracy Edge, and James Harrison. 

Quinn, Jr. and Courson have previously indicted on charges connected to the case. Quinn, Jr. has been indicted on one count of common law misconduct in office and one count of statutory misconduct in office.

Those indictments allege Quinn's misconduct ranged over an 18-year period from when Quinn helped run the House Republican Caucus' campaign and during Quinn's time as House Majority Leader.

According to the indictments, during his time with the caucus, Quinn sent business to groups associated with his father's business, Richard Quinn & Associates, totaling approximately $271,881.69. 

Courson, meanwhile, "unlawfully" converted $247,829.81 in campaign funds to his personal use through a political consulting firm owned by Richard Quinn & Associates, according to Courson's previous indictment. From there, the indictment said Quinn's group paid $132,802.95 to Courson personally, the indictments said.

These new indictments now appear to target Quinn, Sr., who has been indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy and failure to register as a lobbyist. Quinn, Jr. has also been charged with criminal conspiracy. Courson is also hit with criminal conspiracy and statutory misconduct in office charges.

The others indicted are also former legislators. Edge, a former House member and chairman of the Healthcare Budget Committee, has been indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy, common law misconduct in office, and statutory misconduct in office.

Harrison, a former House member and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has been indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy, common law misconduct in office, and statutory misconduct in office.

A bond hearing for the five men has not yet been set.

The South Carolina Democratic Party released a statement on the indictments, saying: 

“It is time for Henry McMaster to finally and fully renounce any professional relationship he has with Richard Quinn, Rick Quinn, or any business entity connected to the indicted parties,” said Trav Robertson, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. “South Carolina deserves a governor that is above any ethical questions and McMaster has ensured that is not him.”

Robertson continued, “It is also incumbent upon McMaster to explain the role his chief of staff plays within the Quinn’s business entities. He’s been a central part of their organization while working in and out of government, and without clarity from McMaster, the ethics of the governor’s office are in extreme doubt.”

“It is also important to remember that the Attorney General turned first to Richard Quinn when he needed to dismiss the special prosecutor for political reasons. Now that Richard Quinn has been indicted, and was already a target when he was consulted by Wilson, it is the time to revisit the Attorney General’s conduct to ensure that it was within the ethical confines of the law.”

“Finally, while examining the ethics of the Republicans, it is also important to question how Catherine Templeton received a no-bid contract with DHEC after her time there. She will attempt to use this moment to be sanctimonious toward her primary opponents, but she is as culpable as they are in the Culture of Corruption in Columbia,” stated Robertson. 

More on this story as it develops.

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