The South Carolina Supreme Court has suspended the law license of a former legislator facing conspiracy and misconduct charges.
Chief Justice Don Beatty signed an order Wednesday indefinitely suspending the license of former House Judiciary Chairman Jim Harrison. The 66-year-old Columbia Republican was among five Republicans indicted last week as part of the expanding investigation into Statehouse corruption. All five were allowed Tuesday to remain free on personal recognizance bonds.
The probe's special prosecutor, David Pascoe, accuses Harrison of doing the bidding of veteran GOP strategist Richard Quinn while in a House leadership role. Pascoe said Quinn paid Harrison $900,000 over 12 years, but Harrison never reported the income on campaign disclosure forms, despite knowing Quinn's clients employed lobbyists at the Statehouse.
Without specifying any legislation, Pascoe noted Quinn's clients at the time included the state Trial Lawyers Association, now named the South Carolina Association for Justice. After his indictment, Harrison was suspended from his Statehouse research job and from The Citadel Board of Visitors.
Another former legislator, Rep. Tracy Edge of North Myrtle Beach, is accused of collecting nearly $300,000 from Quinn over a decade. Payments to both legislators stopped when they left office, Pascoe said. Quinn also faces charges of conspiracy and failing to register as a lobbyist. Two legislators have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges and resigned since the probe began in 2014.
Neither Harrison nor his attorney immediately responded to messages Wednesday seeking comment.