"I haven't seen such lenient terms" Local government watch dog's take on Quinn's sentence


COLUMBIA, SC (WACH)--Former state lawmaker Rick Quinn will serve two years probation and avoid any prison time after pleading guilty to misconduct in office. The Lexington republican was also hit with a fine and community service. Quinn is the third top GOP lawmaker convicted in a State House corruption probe.

So far, not one person involved in the probe has gone to prison, despite the fact millions of dollars have been reportedly removed. Local government watch dog John Crangle says Monday's plea agreement for former representative Rick Quinn wasn't enough.

"I haven't seen such lenient terms. There was no financial restitution. The judge did everything but make the prosecutor apologize to Rick Quinn for the inconvenience of being prosecuted," says Crangle.

While serving probation, Quinn is expected to pay 500 hours of community service and pay a $1,000 fine. This comes after he was accused of using millions of campaign dollars for personal gain. He then pleaded guilty to misconduct in office, a crime Crangle says doesn't stand alone.

"But it seems to me he never admitted he did anything wrong. To convict somebody of misconduct in office, you have to have proof of guilt. So I think the plea is invalid," says Crangle.

Rick Quinn's father, Richard Quinn, still has to testify before the state grand jury. Crangle says more charges could come out of that, depending on the testimony. Senator John Courson and former Representatives Tracy Edge and Jim Harrison are also waiting to go to trial for misconduct charges.

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