COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Rep. Rick Quinn Jr. has been indicted on two counts of misconduct in office for allegedly using his position for personal profit, the latest high-profile state lawmaker to face charges.
The indictment was announced Tuesday by First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe, who's been looking into claims of corruption involving members of the South Carolina General Assembly.
Hours after the indictment was handed down, House Speaker Jay Lucas suspended Quinn from office.
Quinn is facing one count of Common Law Misconduct in Office, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison, and one count of Statutory Misconduct in Office, which carries a penalty of up to 1 year on prison.
The indictment says the acts happened between January of 1999 and April 15 of this year.
The first claims involve his time as majority leader, from 1999 to 2004. Prosecutors claim that during that tenure, Quinn sent business to companies that he has a financial interest in--including Richard Quinn and Associates, the consulting firm created by his father.
The document says the business involved campaign and operating accounts from the House Republican Caucus. It states he failed to disclose the contributions and expenditures, and didn't file reports as required by law. That allowed Quinn and his businesses to collect about $255,000 from the House Republican Caucus without any public accountability, prosecutors say.
He's also accused of asking other House members to use Mail Marketing Strategies, which he owns, for services.
During his unsuccessful campaign for state treasurer, the document claims he filed fraudulent campaign disclosure forms.
While running campaigns for his current house seat, Quinn is accused of filing disclosure forms detailing reimbursements and expenditures from his campaign account. that included improper or false claims that money was spent for legitimate purposes.
Through Rick Quinn and Associates and Mail Marketing Strategies, he accepted $4.5 million from lobbyist principals, but failed to statements with the appropriate supervisory office, prosecutors say.
He's also accused of using his position to influence government decisions and votes that involved the businesses that he was personally involved in.
A bond hearing has not been scheduled. Pascoe says Rep. Quinn will be allowed to accept service of the indictments and have his bond hearing at the same time. The date for those hearings has not yet been set, according to Pascoe.
Back in March. State Senator John Courson was indicted on charges as part of the investigation, and in December, Rep. Jim Merrill was charged.
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