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Top GOP political consultant faces new corruption charges

July 2, 2021 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A top Republican political consultant in South Carolina faces 14 additional charges in a 7-year-old investigation into corruption among lawmakers.

The new indictments against Richard Quinn Sr. on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice were handed up May 20, but weren’t announced publicly or even shared with Quinn’s attorney, The State newspaper reported.

“You would think the courteous thing to do would be to call the lawyer,” attorney Rauch Wise told the newspaper. He said he had no comment on the new indictments.

The new indictments are similar to a 12-count indictment against Quinn issued in April 2019 with one big difference — an additional perjury charge says Quinn lied to a state grand jury about an email he sent Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson suggesting Wilson tell the special prosecutor overseeing the corruption case that he couldn’t investigate Quinn’s son, former state Rep. Richard Quinn Jr.

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That special prosecutor, David Pascoe, stepped aside from Quinn Sr.’s case after the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled he exceeded his authority by continuing the investigation.

Wilson then handed the case to Solicitor Barry Barnette, who sought the May indictments.

The corruption probe began in 2014 as an investigation into ex-House Speaker Bobby Harrell, who pleaded guilty to spending campaign money on personal expenses. He was sentenced to probation.

Quinn Jr. also pleaded guilty and received probation for taking $4 million in money from lobbyists and doing their bidding for the Quinns’ consulting business.

Charges were dropped against his father as part of that deal as long as Quinn Sr. cooperated with investigators, but instead they said he lied to the state grand jury.

Barnette’s office would not comment about the status of the investigation or why the new indictments weren’t shared publicly or with Quinn’s lawyer.