Last week, I sat down in the FITSNews studio with South Carolina first circuit solicitor David Pascoe. Regular readers of this news outlet are very familiar with Pascoe, who oversees criminal prosecutions on behalf of the Palmetto State in Calhoun, Dorchester and Orangeburg counties.
First elected in 2004, Pascoe knocked off incumbent GOP solicitor Robby Robbins in his inaugural bid for office and has been reelected four times since. The 54-year-old Charlottesville, Virginia native has been mentioned as a possible candidate for attorney general of South Carolina in 2022, but he told me during our interview that he is not running this fall.
That’s probably a wise move given the GOP storm that swept across the state in 2020 … and the ongoing failure of Democratic candidates to gain any traction in their 2022 races.
From 2016-2018, Pascoe gained statewide notoriety for his management of multiple prosecutions tied to ProbeGate – an investigation into public corruption at the S.C. State House. ProbeGate focused on a pay-to-play scandal allegedly orchestrated by veteran “Republican” strategist Richard Quinn – who is still facing charges in the aftermath of this inquiry, incidentally.
ProbeGate took down five ranking GOP politicians in the Palmetto State: Former House majority leader Rick Quinn, former House speaker Bobby Harrell, former Senate president John Courson, former House majority leader Jimmy Merrill and former House judiciary chairman (and state code commissioner Jim Harrison).
Four of those five elected officials were intimates of Quinn’s political consulting firm, known at the time as the “Quinndom.”
While he did a good job pursuing justice against these individual defendants, I (and others) have consistently maintained Pascoe “dropped the ball in pursuing charges against the corporate defendants in the case.”
Basically he busted the puppets … but let the puppeteers go.
In recent weeks, Pascoe has been making the rounds at various GOP and conservative gatherings in the Palmetto State … reliving the ProbeGate days but also echoing this news outlet’s repeated calls for reforming the way South Carolina elects judges.
That’s why we sat down with the veteran prosecutor …
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats – including that Charleston RiverDogs’ “Perros Santos” lid pictured above.
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