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#ProbeGate: Insider Interest Parade Begins




Chalk up yet another one (well, two) for our amazing network of sources …

A week ago, this website exclusively reported that a South Carolina statewide grand jury was reconvening this week to continue its work on #ProbeGate – an ongoing, multi-jurisdictional investigation into corruption in state government.

Four days ago, we followed up that report with another exclusive story detailing the nature of these proceedings – noting that they would include testimony from some of the Palmetto State’s leading corporate cronies and bigwigs.

We were right …

The insider interest parade has begun … the only question is whether it will be a prelude to a “perp walk.”

Led by S.C. first circuit solicitor David Pascoe, this investigation has drawn a bead on one of the Palmetto State’s most influential political consulting empires – the “Republican” firm of Richard Quinn and Associates.

While the firm’s founder, Richard Quinn, has yet to be charged with any crimes, his son – state representative Rick Quinn – is facing a pair of misconduct in office charges.  Meanwhile the elder Quinn was named in a three-count indictment of sitting State Senator John Courson.  That indictment alleges Courson received payments from Quinn’s firm as part of a scheme to convert campaign cash into personal income.

Now Quinn’s client roster – which is loaded with powerful insider interests who have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to his stable of politicians – finds itself under Pascoe’s microscope.

Among these insider interests?  Embattled energy behemoth SCANA, health care provider BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, the government-run S.C. State Ports Authority (SCPA), the University of South Carolina and telecom giant AT&T of South Carolina.

Many of these entities have received subpoenas in connection with Pascoe’s investigation – and many of them were reportedly referenced in documents seized during a March raid of Quinn’s Columbia, S.C. headquarters.

As we reported last week, “the next phase of the statewide grand jury’s deliberations involves summoning the leaders of these entities to provide testimony related to the seized and subpoenaed records obtained over the course of this investigation.”

“In addition to those questions, we’re also told this assemblage of corporate chieftains and bureaucratic big wigs will be asked to respond to testimony previously provided to the statewide grand jury,” we added.

According to reporter John Monk of The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper, one of the corporate chieftains summoned to appear before Pascoe’s grand jury was Pamela Lackey – president of AT&T South Carolina and a member of the SCPA.

A double-whammy if you will …

Lackey was accompanied to the grand jury room by former U.S. attorney Bart Daniel, one of the state’s most well-known criminal defense attorneys.

What questions did the grand jury ask her?  Good question … but Lackey’s employer moved swiftly to tamp down speculation about her appearance.

“AT&T is not aware that either it or any of its employees are the subject of any allegations by the special prosecutor,” a company spokesperson told Monk.  “AT&T will not comment on activity of the grand jury.”

The SCPA – which has repeatedly found itself at the heart of this scandal – similarly refused to comment to Monk.

Lackey last came on our radar back in June when we discovered was soliciting campaign contributions for incumbent “Republican” governor Henry McMaster – a longtime associate of Quinn who only recently severed his ties with the scandal-ravaged firm.

We’ll be sure to pass along any information we hear regarding the substance of her testimony … or the names of any other corporate/ bureaucratic leaders summoned as part of Pascoe’s probe.



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