Jim Harrison (copy) (copy)

Former Rep. Jim Harrison (left) appears with his attorney, Reggie Lloyd, last year at the Richland County Courthouse in Columbia for a bond hearing. File/John A. Carlos II/Special to The Post and Courier

Former House Judiciary Chairman Jim Harrison became the first target of the long-running Statehouse corruption probe to get prison time after he was handed an 18-month sentence in October.

The Columbia Republican, however, remains free while he appeals his conviction for secretly profiting from work he did for the influential Richard Quinn & Associates consulting firm, which pleaded guilty to illegal lobbying.

The firm was the most powerful around the Statehouse, but its brand was tarnished by allegations the Quinns made millions by illegally influencing legislation to benefit corporate and political clients.

The firm’s founder, longtime kingmaker Richard Quinn, sidestepped a conviction in the case but had to testify before the State Grand Jury this year. His son, former GOP House Majority Leader Rick Quinn, got probation in February after pleading guilty to misconduct and resigning from office.

The five-year probe, led by Special Prosecutor David Pascoe, appears to be winding down after winning convictions against five legislators. But former Rep. Tracy Edge still awaits trial on misconduct and perjury charges. 

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Reach Glenn Smith at 843-937-5556. Follow him on Twitter @glennsmith5.

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