Sentencing set next week for former South Carolina lawmaker
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Another former South Carolina lawmaker will be sentenced Monday for his role in a corruption scandal.
Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen has set sentencing for former House Majority Leader Rick Quinn for 9:30 a.m. Monday in Beaufort. The Lexington Republican pleaded guilty in December to a count of misconduct in office, which carries up to a year in prison.
In December, Quinn, 52, became the third Republican lawmaker to plead guilty in a yearslong probe that has resulted in charges against half a dozen current and former lawmakers, as well as Quinn’s political consultant father, Richard Quinn Sr.
The case against the elder Quinn, including allegations of conspiracy and illegal lobbying, was dropped as a result of his son’s admission to taking $4 million in money from lobbyists and doing their bidding for the Quinns’ consulting business. Richard Quinn also agreed to fully cooperate with investigators and testify before the State Grand Jury, which has indicted seven people thus far.
Quinn Jr.’s lawyers have said he should avoid any jail time, in part because prosecutor David Pascoe has not sought tough sentences in a number of other cases. In the Statehouse corruption probe, former House Speaker Bobby Harrell and ex-state Rep. James Merrill received probation.
Quinn Jr.‘s attorneys cited eight cases in which politicians and police officers pleaded guilty to the same misconduct in office charge that Quinn faced and were sentenced to probation. They’ve argued Quinn Jr.’s only crime was failing to register clients.
Pascoe has said he wanted Quinn Jr., who was majority leader more than a decade ago, to serve the maximum year in prison. He has also asked that Quinn’s plea deal be tossed unless he agrees to add the word “intentionally” to his admission of guilt.
Quinn Sr. has helped mostly conservative candidates in South Carolina for four decades, with high-profile clients including U.S. Sen. John McCain’s bid for president, Gov. Henry McMaster, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and state Attorney General Alan Wilson.
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