Longtime state Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, will be tried before a Richland County jury next month.
A Circuit Court judge judge has set March 19 as Courson’s trial date, the clerk of the State Grand Jury said.
“Senator Courson looks forward to his trial,” said his lawyer, Rose Mary Parham.
The 73-year-old Courson, first elected in 1985, has maintained his innocence since being indicted on public corruption charges last spring. He has been suspended from office.
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Courson is charged with misconduct in office, criminal conspiracy and converting campaign money to his personal use by taking kickbacks from his longtime political adviser, Richard Quinn & Associates.
According to special prosecutor David Pascoe, Courson paid the Quinn firm regularly from his campaign account for political advice and, then, received checks back from the firm that were made out to him personally. Courson then deposited those checks in his personal Bank of America account and pocketed the money. It is illegal to use campaign money for personal expenses.
State Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen will preside at Courson’s trial.