Charles “Chuck” Beaman, the CEO of Columbia area hospital giant Palmetto Health, was one of the people appearing before the State Grand Jury this week in its public corruption probe, sources familiar with the investigation told The State.
The hospital declined to comment about Beaman’s appearance.
Palmetto Health was one of a number of institutions and trade groups identified as having given money to political consulting firm Richard Quinn & Associates, money that was routed to Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, special prosecutor David Pascoe alleged during a May court hearing.
Rick Quinn, the son of Richard Quinn, in May was indicted on two counts of misconduct in office for receiving some $4.5 million in payments routed though various firms including Richard Quinn & Associates to influence his work in the General Assembly, court documents alleged.
Rick Quinn has been suspended from office. He is pleading not guilty.
Richard Quinn has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Hospital officials Thursday issued this statement when asked about Beaman’s appearance before the State Grand Jury:
“Palmetto Health has used the services of Richard Quinn & Associates and many other consultants over the years. Any further comment on this matter is inappropriate,” said the statement issued by spokeswoman Tammie Epps.
The hospital also refused to divulge how much money it had paid to Richard Quinn & Associates over the years.
Other groups named in the May court hearing by Pascoe as having hired Richard Quinn & Associates include the Cayce-based SCANA, telecom giant AT&T, BlueCross BlueShield, the S.C. Trial Lawyers Association, the payday lending industry and the Charleston-based S.C. Ports Authority.
Palmetto Health has one of South Carolina’s largest workforces, with some 15,000 employees and volunteers, including about 1,000 doctors. Its seven hospitals have more than 1,800 beds and include Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Richland, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital.