COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina state grand jury has indicted a man who was once one of the top political strategists in the state, saying he lied in testimony.
Richard Quinn Sr. was indicted on 11 counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice, according to a press release sent out by the office of Special Prosecutor David Pascoe.
A copy of the indictment obtained by WLTX gives details as to the specifics on why he was charged.
According to the court document, Quinn is being charged with perjury related to “false, misleading, and incomplete testimony under oath before the State Grand Jury of South Carolina” on matters related to testimony in the trial of former Rep. Jim Harrison (Richland), payments made from Richard Quinn Associates (RQA) to Sen. John Courson (Richland), the business relationship of Rep. Rick Quinn (Lexington, Richard Quinn’s son) to RQA, and letters and statements drafted by Richard Quinn on the behalf of the Office of Attorney General Alan Wilson.
The obstruction of justice charge relates to overall incomplete and evasive testimony given to the State Grand Jury on April 20, 2018, and on May 7, 2018, and Quinn’s repeated claims of memory problems and of health issues that hindered his memory.
Each perjury charge is a felony, with each count carrying a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and a fine in the discretion of the court. The obstruction of justice charge is a misdemeanor and carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine at the discretion of the court.
A bond hearing date has not yet been set.
Solicitor Pascoe stated, “At this point in the process, the indictment is a mere accusation. Mr. Quinn is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I also wish to point out that several matters are still pending with this investigation. Therefore, I have no further comment regarding today’s indictment.”
Quinn, and his public relations firm Richard Quinn & Associates, has helped the careers of such notable politicians as Gov. Henry McMaster, Attorney General Alan Wilson, and former US presidential candidate John McCain.
Previous charges that included conspiracy and illegal lobbying were dropped against Quinn as part of a plea deal with his son, Rep. Rick Quinn, in 2017.
Pascoe has been looking into corruption in South Carolina politics for several years, a probe that has led to several indictments of top lawmakers and lead to plea deals that caused several of them – including Harrison, Courson, Rick Quinn, and Rep. Jim Merrill (Berkley) -- to leave office.