Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Indictments for four former and suspended lawmakers were read in court today, along with indictments for long time political consultant Richard Quinn senior.
This was all a part of a bond hearing for the individuals indicted in the ongoing investigation into possible corruption at the State House.
Former representative of Horry County Tracy Edge was charged with misconduct in office, common law misconduct in office, criminal conspiracy and perjury.
“The defendant conspired with Richard Quinn Senior, who is the president of Richard Quinn and Associates, who violated the ethics act so they can make money,” says First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe.
Pascoe explained that they believe Edge was paid nearly $300,000 from 2004 to 2014, using his position on the health care committee at the State House to benefit clients of RQ&A.
Former representative James Harrison of Richland County who was also charged with misconduct in office, common law misconduct and criminal conspiracy.
Pascoe says Harrison was paid by RQ&A while he was on the judiciary committee in office.
“During that time Mr. Harrison was paid by Richard Quinn and Associates more than $900,000 in compensation.”
Senator John Courson of Richland County was charged with criminal conspiracy and misconduct in office.
It was believed that Sen. Courson received financial kickbacks from RQ&A that totaled more than $159,000 in exchange for voting certain ways while he was in the education committee in office.
Representative Rick Quinn Jr was charged with criminal conspiracy, and believed to have helped pass laws in favor of the clients represented by his father’s company, Richard Quinn and Associates.
“There are two things that these allegations are, one is false,” says Rep. Quinn. “The other is that I had opinions from regulatory authorities guided my conduct and told me everything I was doing was fine. I represented my folks honorably and I'm going to prove that in my day in court.”
As for Richard Quinn senior, who was charged with criminal conspiracy and failure to register as a lobbyist, solicitor Pascoe says he was the mastermind behind the alleged corruption.
“The defendant used legislators, groomed legislators and conspired with legislators and others to violate multiple provision in the ethics act, so that they can all make money,” says Pascoe.
All four lawmakers were given $10,000 personal recognizance bonds, while Richard Quinn Sr. was given a $15,000 personal recognizance bond. They are expected to pay those bonds and remain in the United States, while out on bond.