• Political consultant charged in SC corruption investigation

    Updated:
    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina political consultant was formally charged Thursday in an investigation of statehouse corruption.

    A grand jury indicted Richard Quinn, 74, on 11 counts of perjury and one of obstruction of justice. The indictments accuse Quinn of lying during two appearances before the state grand jury a year ago in cases against former state lawmakers Jim Harrison, John Courson and Rick Quinn, his son. The elder Quinn also is accused of lying about his work for Attorney General Alan Wilson.

    The Post and Courier reported Quinn faces up to 55 years if convicted on all the perjury charges and up to 10 years on the obstruction charge, which was handed down based on allegations that his "incomplete and evasive" testimony thwarted the investigation, according to the indictment.

    "Quinn repeatedly claimed to suffer from memory problems and health issues that hindered his memory, however, witnesses' testimony before the grand jury and evidence gathered, contradicts his claim," the indictment says.

    A bond hearing has not been set, said 1st Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe, who is overseeing the probe that dates back to 2013.

    Previous corruption charges against Quinn, including illegal lobbying and conspiracy, were dropped in 2017 as part of a plea deal with the younger Quinn, who agreed to resign from the legislature after pleading guilty to misconduct in office.

    Harrison was the only person to receive a prison sentence in the investigation.

    Quinn learned about the indictments Thursday. He told the Post and Courier that he was not expecting the new allegations from Pascoe.

    "I'm surprised," Quinn said, adding that he needed to gather more information about the indictments before commenting further.

    His attorney, Debbie Barbier, said the perjury charges are a rehash of earlier allegations that were dropped: "This is a different shade of lipstick on the same pig."

    Quinn's clients have included Gov. Henry McMaster, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the late U.S. Sens. Strom Thurmond and John McCain, and the late President Ronald Reagan.

    The indictments accuse Quinn of lying while testifying in front of the State Grand Jury in Columbia in April and May 2018. The newest allegations came from Quinn's ties to Alan Wilson, whose father, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, also is a political consulting client of his firm.

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    Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com

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