Despite news that Statehouse probe investigators seized records belonging to his longtime political strategist, Gov. Henry McMaster repeated Friday he has no plans to end his ties to Richard Quinn.
"Serving subpoenas and getting documents is standard operating procedure in any lawsuit in federal investigations and state investigations involved with the State Grand Jury," McMaster told The Post and Courier after speaking at the S.C. Manufacturers Alliance annual meeting at the Mills House hotel in Charleston.
Stressing his experience as a former U.S. attorney and S.C. attorney general, McMaster added: "I probably don't get as excited about subpoenas as some people do."
The State newspaper in Columbia reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources, that State Law Enforcement Division agents seized documents from Quinn's Columbia-area firm, Richard Quinn & Associates.
McMaster said he has not talked to Quinn recently. On the seizure of Quinn's documents, he added, "I think I heard about it through the grapevine a couple of weeks ago."
The Statehouse corruption investigation, led by special prosecutor David Pascoe, has cast a wide net seeking evidence in recent weeks.
The State Ports Authority, the University of South Carolina, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and a former officer with the S.C. Republican Party have confirmed receiving requests to provide documents related to the corruption probe.
Sources told The Post and Courier that SCANA Corp. and AT&T also were asked to produce paperwork. Those companies declined comment.
The Ports Authority and the former S.C. Republican Party officer said the requests were regarding ties to Richard Quinn & Associates. Quinn did business with USC and SCANA, officials said.
Quinn, who denies any wrongdoing, has not been charged in the probe.
Asked if he might cut ties with Quinn, McMaster answered: "His name is popping up in the press, but so are a lot of others."
The investigation has netted a guilty plea by one top lawmaker and indictments of two others, including a client of Quinn's firm.
But Pascoe's probe has begun to affect the governor's office.
A state Senate panel choose to delay a vote on McMaster's picks for the Ports Authority this week, citing their ties to employers who did work with Quinn.
McMaster sought to appoint Kenneth Jackson, a vice president with SCANA, and William Jones, an environmental lawyer from Bluffton and USC trustee.
"They have done nothing wrong at all," McMaster said, adding that Jones and Jackson have "sterling reputations."
But the governor's SPA appointments stirred some controversy. McMaster's picks would replace Pat McKinney, the authority's current chairman and a former political opponent of the governor, and Mike Sisk, the SPA's current treasurer who pushed for the board's audit committee to look into the agency's spending further. Those terms have expired.