ATTORNEY GENERAL SEEKS TO LIMIT SCOPE OF INQUIRY … AIDING AND ABETTING HIS POLITICAL ALLIES
S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson‘s office has sent a lengthy memorandum to first district solicitor David Pascoe outlining its views on the ongoing probe of public corruption at the S.C. State House.
Wilson, of course, abdicated his responsibility on this matter months ago … ostensibly leaving prosecutorial authority to Pascoe.
But now a memo – dated December 11 (.pdf here) – seeks to guide Pascoe’s decision-making regarding whether to prosecute certain elected officials. Of interest? Several of the elected officials potentially impacted by the opinion are – like Wilson – closely linked to the neo-Confederate political consulting empire of Richard Quinn and Associates.
Interesting … so Wilson recused himself from this “probe” months ago because of potential conflicts related to prosecutorial decision-making (conflicts he never disclosed, by the way), yet here he is weighing in on prosecutorial decision-making?
Specifically, Pascoe asked Wilson whether members of the S.C. General Assembly were permitted to “pay for campaign services performed by a business in which the Member or a member of the Member’s family has an economic interest.”
This is all about the Quinn firm – which is run by the father of former “Republican” majority leader Rick Quinn.
According to Wilson, such arrangements are permissible.
“Of course the Quinn-controlled attorney general’s office would say it isn’t a violation,” one critic of the ruling told us. “This proves that (Wilson) has a massive conflict of interest.
Wilson also concluded it is perfectly legal for House “majority” leaders to “hire and pay a business in which the majority leader has an economic interest.”
Again, how convenient …
Wilson is giving – or rather attempting to give – his political allies a blank check to conduct business as usual in the Palmetto State.
“This is why attorney general opinions are non-binding,” another critic of Wilson’s noted. “Because they are bullsh*t.”
We are hard-pressed to disagree.
We praised Wilson early-on during the probe because we felt he was taking a principled stand against public corruption. Back in April, though, we criticized Wilson for donning the “white hat” – but then failing to follow through.
Now his lack of motion on the issue strikes us as something more sinister …
“The probe” – exclusively unearthed by this website last September – brought down powerful former S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell last fall. Unfortunately, it’s becoming increasingly clear Harrell’s downfall was more about clearing a path for other corrupt state leaders.
“This is really disgusting,” a source familiar with the probe told us. “And seems to confirm what I suspected from the (beginning). The Quinns masterminded this to get rid of Harrell.”
Wilson’s job is to prosecute corrupt leaders … not make excuses for them. Sadly, he seems to think his allegiance is to a consulting firm, not the people who elected him. For shame.
UPDATE: Looks like we’re not the only ones following this story.