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Former South Carolina lawmaker avoids prison for misconduct

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - A former South Carolina lawmaker have shyed away from prison Monday when a pass judgement on sentenced him to 2 years on probation for his responsible plea to a misdemeanor corruption rate.

Former state Rep. Rick Quinn Jr. was once additionally fined $1,000 and ordered to accomplish 500 hours of neighborhood provider all through a temporary listening to. He had pleaded responsible to a unmarried rate of misconduct in workplace Dec. 13. Quinn, a former House majority chief, turned into the 3rd Republican lawmaker convicted as a part of a wide-ranging investigation into Statehouse corruption.

Quinn, 52, of Lexington had confronted as much as a 12 months in prison and prosecutors stated he deserved time in the back of bars. Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen disagreed and indicated Quinn had already paid a excessive value for his crime.

Mr. Quinn has no prison document, his political occupation is over, he’s been disgraced and his circle of relatives industry has been destroyed,” Mullen stated.

The two different lawmakers who pleaded responsible within the corruption investigation additionally gained probation.

Solicitor David Pascoe had accused Quinn of breaking the legislation via taking $four million in unreported cash from lobbyists and doing their bidding on behalf of his father’s political consulting company.

Quinn denied taking cash for political favors. He stated his simplest crime was once failing to expose a unmarried lobbying company that had made bills to his father’s industry.

“I have never used my office for personal gain,” Quinn advised journalists out of doors the Beaufort County courthouse.

As a part of his plea deal closing 12 months, Quinn resigned from workplace after 21 years. He served as House majority chief from 1999 to 2004.

In alternate for Quinn’s responsible plea, Pascoe dropped corruption fees towards Quinn’s Republican guide father, Richard Quinn Sr. The elder Quinn agreed to cooperate with government and testify prior to a grand jury empaneled that has thus far indicted seven other people within the corruption investigation. His high-profile shoppers have integrated Gov. Henry McMaster, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Pascoe stated he disagreed with the pass judgement on’s resolution towards prison time for Quinn. The prosecutor stated he additionally would possibly enchantment the pass judgement on’s dealing with of the plea, which he stated didn’t contain a correct admission of responsible via the ex-lawmaker.

“One might think at least we got one more legislator out of there who had his own interest in mind instead of the public’s interest,” Pascoe advised journalists after the listening to.

The pass judgement on lower Pascoe off a number of instances all through the sentencing listening to when he attempted to lift an objection to Quinn’s plea. She additionally famous that if the prosecutor sought after a stiffer sentence, he can have taken Quinn’s case to trial.

“If Rick Quinn was the worst of the worst, why did you allow him to plead … to one very limited admission?” Mullen stated.

Quinn known as Pascoe a “political adversary” who spent greater than 3 years pursuing fees towards Quinn and his father as an act of partisan revenge. Pascoe ran for a solicitor as a Democrat. He denied any political motives in the back of his investigation.

Quinn is the 3rd GOP lawmaker to come to a decision to plead responsible within the investigation. Former House Majority Leader Jim Merrill and previous House Speaker Bobby Harrell each have been sentenced to probation.

Quinn stated he sought after to battle the costs and transparent his identify, however pleaded responsible to spare his father from prosecution and the remainder of his circle of relatives from additional hardship.

“I’m sure I won’t run for office again,” Quinn stated. “But I owe it to my constituents to let them know how I conducted myself. … I’ve got to figure out a way to repair my name.”

 

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