The curtain surrounding the ongoing probe into alleged Statehouse corruption was raised some this week as special prosecutor David Pascoe alleged for the first time in open court that the powerful Republican political consultant, Richard Quinn, Sr. is at the center of what he called a “sphere of unlawful influence over elected officials." Quinn and four current and former legislators were indicted last week on criminal conspiracy charges.
At bond hearings in Columbia this week, lawyers for Quinn, Sr., his son Rep. Rick Quinn of Lexington, and Columbia Sen. John Courson said they plan to prove in court that their clients are innocent. Lawyers for former house members Tracy Edge of Horry County, and Jim Harrison of Columbia said they will formally respond to their charges at a later date.
The alleged statehouse corruption is already shaping up to be an issue for some of the candidates in next year’s Governor’s election.