Alan Wilson campaign responds to release of grand jury report

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A state grand jury report tied to a South Carolina State House corruption investigation has just been released.

It not only provides more insight into the case but also accuses the Attorney General of impeding the investigation.

The report shows the state grand jury focused on Alan Wilson’s ties to Richard Quinn, a Columbia-based political operative and his son Rick Quinn, an ex-state legislator who resigned and pled guilty to misconduct in 2017.

The report accuses Wilson of attempting to sideline the special prosecutor, David Pascoe, while “improperly sharing information about the investigation with the Quinns.”

Wilson, a republican, appointed Pascoe, a democrat, after acknowledging a potential conflict of interest.

The report outlines how Wilson tried to undermine and even tried to remove Pascoe from the investigation once Pascoe zeroed in on the Quinns, a family with deep political ties to both Wilson and his father, Congressman Joe Wilson, among other state house politicians.

The grand jury said it could not get to the root of Wilson’s motivations but concluded: 

“…the attorney general succeeded in harming the probe through numerous delays that allowed the statute of limitations to run out on potential criminal charges against entities and individuals.” 

The report continued, “Wilson put his loyalty to Richard Quinn above his duty and obligation to the citizens of South Carolina to respect and enforce the state’s laws.”

The release of the report has prompted Wilson’s campaign to respond and called it a “political smear less than a month from an election.”

It also has Wilson’s supporters, including SC Rep. Mike Pitts of Laurens and chair of the House Ethics Committee to come to his defense.

“At this point without having read the report I have no reason not to continue my support for Alan. I have supported him all along,” Pitts told 7News during an on camera interview Wednesday. 

In an email to 7News seeking comment, Mark Knoop with Alan Wilson’s campaign for re-election, stated:

“Attorney General Wilson said, “The Pascoe report is riddled with already-disproven political innuendo and baseless conjecture. This is an entirely political smear less than a month from an election and it should be dismissed as just that.”

Alan Wilson was never issued a subpoena, never charged, and never a target of an investigation. The report was drafted in June, yet only released less than a month from an election. Pascoe was recently castigated in court by a judge during this investigation for making ‘patently false statements’ and trying to ‘pander to the media.’  

Rep. Murrell Smith, a House Ethics Committee member, said, “It is unprecedented to release a grand jury report about someone who was never even charged right before an election. The justice system should never be used to influence an election.”

13th Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins said, “I’ve known and worked with Alan Wilson for years, and I know firsthand he always conducts himself with the highest level of integrity and honesty. The courtroom is not the place for political smear campaigns.”  

House Ethics Committee Chair, former officer, and State Rep. Mike Pitts said, “Alan Wilson has massive support in the law enforcement community because we know firsthand that Alan is a man of unquestionable character and we need a seasoned prosecutor in the Attorney General’s office. Alan Wilson serves his nation and his state with honor, and he will be re-elected on November 6.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE STATE GRAND JURY REPORT

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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