The Latest: Sentencing delayed in lawmaker corruption case

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Posted: Dec 13, 2017 7:03 PM
The Latest: Sentencing delayed in lawmaker corruption case

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the guilty plea of a longtime, powerful South Carolina lawmaker in a corruption probe (all times local):

7 p.m.

A judge says she will delay her decision on whether a powerful South Carolina lawmaker should spend time in prison after pleading guilty to corruption charges.

Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen listened to nearly two hours of testimony Wednesday after Republican Rep. Rick Quinn pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor misconduct in office.

Prosecutors say Quinn took more than $4 million from lobbyists on behalf of his father's consulting company and then did their bidding. Quinn's lawyer said his only crime was failing to disclose some clients.

Quinn faces up to a year in prison when Mullen sentences him. She did not say when she would reconvene court.

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6:30 p.m.

The attorney for Rep. Rick Quinn says he is pleading guilty to a corruption charge even through there are numerous holes in the prosecution's evidence.

Defense lawyer Johnny Gasser didn't immediately say why Quinn was pleading guilty at a hearing Wednesday.

Gasser says Quinn had opinions from ethics lawyers and the state attorney general that he was handling his role as a legislator and his father's business properly.

Prosecutor David Pascoe said the 52-year-old Republican House Majority Leader had broken the law, taking more than $4 million in money from companies and groups like AT&T, utility SCANA, hospitals Palmetto Health and the University of South Carolina to do their bidding.

Gasser says Quinn should face no prison time. Pascoe wants the maximum of a year behind bars for Quinn.

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5:25 p.m.

South Carolina Rep. Rick Quinn Jr. has become the third Republican lawmaker to plead guilty in a Statehouse corruption probe.

Prosecutors said Wednesday they will ask for prison time for the 52-year-old former House Majority leader. He faces up to a year behind bars on a charge of misconduct in office.

Prosecutors dropped charges against his GOP consultant father Richard Quinn Sr., but he must testify before a grand jury.

Prosecutors have said Rick Quinn broke the law by taking $4.5 million in unreported money from lobbyists and using his public office to influence government decisions and by steering $272,000 in Republican House Caucus funds to his family businesses.

The probe has already resulted in guilty pleas from former House Speaker Bobby Harrell and former House Majority Leader Jim Merrill.