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William Herlong: The Case Against Alan Wilson



by WILLIAM HERLONG || This month Alan Wilson announced his campaign for reelection as attorney general stating that “no one” has done more than him to fight corruption in South Carolina.

Wow, that’s a whopper even by Alan Wilson standards.

The facts tell a much different story.  Alan Wilson’s deep personal involvement in the probe of Rick Quinn and Richard Quinn shows how he has failed the people of South Carolina.  His lack of leadership has enabled a culture of corruption that must not be tolerated.

If you recall, S.C. first circuit solicitor David Pascoe was asked by the attorney general to serve as a special prosecutor to look into the public corruption case involving former speaker of the House Bobby Harrell.

Then in July of 2015, the attorney general personally recused himself from any case involving lawmakers that were mentioned in the initial S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) report looking into public corruption.

Common Cause of South Carolina called that move by Mr. Wilson “highly unusual” and something that “baffles.”

An attorney general recusing himself from a public corruption investigation is like a police officer “recusing” himself from arresting bad guys.  Seriously, what good is an attorney general who will not investigate public corruption because he has a conflict of interest with public corruption?

The Quinn plea hearing in December revealed a deep and troubling insider relationship between the Quinn organization and Alan Wilson.  Mr. Pascoe indicated in his statement to the court that attorney general Wilson and his staff actually worked with the Quinns to derail that investigation.

Alan Wilson knew the Quinns were the primary target of the case and yet he allowed the Quinns to orchestrate an official press conference for him to attack and politicize Mr. Pascoe.

Pascoe’s statement further revealed that the Quinns actually hand-drafted Wilson’s written remarks and edited the official news release for that same press conference.

Additionally, Pascoe told the court that some employees in the Office of Attorney General were working with the Quinns to spread negative stories about Mr. Pascoe with editorial writers and Republican activists in South Carolina.

Let that sink in for a moment.  Our current attorney general was working with the target of a criminal investigation to attack the special prosecutor that the attorney general had hand picked to handle that investigation.

Apparently, Mr. Wilson’s deputy chief of staff Adam Piper (a non lawyer and former staffer for the Quinn organization) led the effort to impede the investigation and discredit the special prosecutor.

As The State newspaper reported in April of 2016,Piper sent an email to SCGOP Chairman Matt Moore and others asking: “If there is a way for the party to reveal David Pascoe is Dick Harpootlian’s Mini-Me/Sock-Puppet/Clone, it would be beneficial for years to come for the (Republican) party,” later in the same email, Mr. Piper called Mr. Pascoe “a Democrat political hack.”

To his credit our former SCGOP chairman told Piper and Wilson they should cease this activity and not contact him or try to involve the party in any criminal investigation.  Moore said, “It is not proper for a political party to interfere with an ongoing criminal probe.”

Matt Moore was 100 percent correct.

South Carolina needs an attorney general who doesn’t play political games and works steadfastly to preserve, protect, and defend the people he or she serves.  We need someone new who has a wealth of experience in law and will hold corrupt lawmakers accountable.

Rick Quinn pled guilty to misconduct in office this week, and he said the sentence was, “like a speeding ticket.” If and when I am attorney general, corrupt politicians who plead guilty to these kinds of offenses will go to jail.

And also for the record, I will not run for any other political office and I will donate all my salary to charity. That is a promise. My only ambition is driven by my desire to clean up corruption.

To learn more about my campaign, please go to

William Herlong has practiced law in SC for 32 years. He has prosecuted and defended cases of every size, length, and degree of complexity on both the plaintiff and defense sides. He has personally handled over a couple thousand legal matters and tried close to a hundred cases to juries, judges and arbitrators.  Herlong is a Republican candidate for Attorney General of South Carolina.



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