Sen. John Courson suspended from Senate following indictment - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Sen. John Courson suspended from Senate following indictment

An attorney for Senator John Courson (R-Richland) says the longtime senator will be indicted on Friday. (Source: WISTV) An attorney for Senator John Courson (R-Richland) says the longtime senator will be indicted on Friday. (Source: WISTV)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant has suspended longtime state Sen. John Courson (R-Richland) following his indictment on charges of misconduct in office and use of campaign funds for personal uses.

According to the indictment, Courson "unlawfully" converted $247,829.81 in campaign funds to his personal use through a political consulting firm owned by Richard Quinn & Associates. From there, the indictment said Quinn's group paid $132,802.95 to Courson personally. All this transpired over the course of 6 years, the indictment alleged.

His Florence attorney, Rose Mary Parham, told WIS the surprising process happened in only a matter of days.

She said Sen. Courson is scheduled to be in court the week of March 27.

"These allegations are completely false. I have done nothing wrong," Sen. Courson wrote in a statement released by his attorney. "I value my integrity and have spent all my years as a public servant embracing the highest standards of ethical conduct. I believe the most important things one leaves behind in this life are one's children and one's reputation. While it is unfortunate to be charged by a partisan democrat under questionable motives and authority. I have no doubt that I will be cleared and exonerated of these accusations."

The 72-year-old Courson has been in the Senate since 1985 and chairs the Senate Education Committee. As a Shandon resident, Marine Corps veteran, Keenan-Suggs Insurance Vice President and avid baseball fan who has toured many of the game's great ballparks, Courson has a reputation as one of the General Assembly's more moderate Republicans.

US Senate legend Strom Thurmond was among Courson's mentors and was also a close friend of his. In fact, Senator Courson led the effort to design and build the Thurmond monument near the Gressette Building south of the State House. 

Courson's 32 years in office have included service as Senate President Pro Tem, chairing the Senate Education Committee, and as an ethics committee member. Several years ago, he received a lifetime achievement award from Common Cause, a government watchdog group, for his efforts on ethics reform.

He's the second lawmaker indicted in a probe of public corruption at the State House. Daniel Island Rep. Jim Merrill was indicted in December on charges including misconduct in office.

In a statement, Solicitor David Pascoe said the investigation continues and that Courson is innocent until proven guilty.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Jealous ex-boyfriend saws through house door in PA

    Jealous ex-boyfriend saws through house door in PA

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:20 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:20:17 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 4:10 AM EDT2018-04-25 08:10:05 GMT
    Police said a man used a chainsaw to break into a home to attack two people. (Source: WPXI/CNN)Police said a man used a chainsaw to break into a home to attack two people. (Source: WPXI/CNN)

    Police said a man used a chainsaw to break into a home to attack two people.

    More >>

    Police said a man used a chainsaw to break into a home to attack two people.

    More >>
  • Senators grow frustrated with lax Trump vetting on nominees

    Senators grow frustrated with lax Trump vetting on nominees

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:47 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:47:40 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 3:59 AM EDT2018-04-25 07:59:13 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). CIA director Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo arrive for a State Dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump at the White House, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). CIA director Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo arrive for a State Dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump at the White House, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington.

    As President Donald Trump's pick to lead Veterans Affairs skids to a halt, senators from both parties are voicing frustration that the White House is skipping crucial vetting of nominees and leaving lawmakers to...

    More >>

    As President Donald Trump's pick to lead Veterans Affairs skids to a halt, senators from both parties are voicing frustration that the White House is skipping crucial vetting of nominees and leaving lawmakers to clean up the mess.

    More >>
  • Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

    Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:26:54 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 3:58 AM EDT2018-04-25 07:58:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Slocum). Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial near a cloud of bubbles blown by a protester, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum). Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial near a cloud of bubbles blown by a protester, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.

    Jurors at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial are poised to start deliberating after a marathon day of closing arguments.

    More >>

    Jurors at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial are poised to start deliberating after a marathon day of closing arguments.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly