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Special Prosecutor Agrees To Reschedule John Courson’s Trial

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South Carolina first circuit solicitor David Pascoe submitted a motion on Thursday afternoon agreeing to reschedule the trial of suspended state senator John Courson.

The 73-year-old retired Marine is facing an ethics charge for allegedly converting campaign funds to personal use as well as a criminal conspiracy charge and three misconduct in office charges.   Three of the indictments against him were filed last March, while two were filed last October.

Courson was supposed to go to trial on March 19, but his attorney – Rose Mary Parham of Florence, S.C. – asked circuit court judge Carmen Mullen for a continuance this week.

Mullen, incidentally, is locked in a bitter battle with Pascoe over allegations the special prosecutor has leveled against her.  To read our latest update on that spat, click here.

According to Pascoe’s motion, Parham reached out to her on Wednesday evening “to discuss the matter.”  During that conversation, she laid out her rationale for needing a continuance.

Whatever Parham said to Pascoe, it was apparently persuasive.

In his motion, Pascoe said he was “very appreciative that Ms. Parham has been forthright and candid during these discussions and understands her needs with respect to the March trial date.”

“It is the state’s duty to be ministers of justice,” Pascoe wrote. “If a court did not grant a continuance under these circumstances brought forward by (Parham), the undersigned believes it would constitute an abuse of discretion.”

According to our sources, Courson’s case is likely to be rescheduled for sometime in April – meaning this is likely to be only a short-term delay in the proceedings.

Courson was suspended from office a year ago in the aftermath of the first round of charges being filed against him.  According to the initial round of indictments, he routed nearly a quarter of a million dollars through his campaign account to a company run by his political consultant, Richard Quinn.  Roughly half of that money was then allegedly funneled back to Courson via “multiple transactions” totaling more than $130,000.

A local insurance agent, Courson has represented S.C. Senate District 20 (map) since 1985.  From 2012 to 2014 he was president of the State Senate, a job he relinquished so as to avoid having to become lieutenant governor.

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