The public corruption trial of state Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, likely will be delayed.
The trial was set to begin March 19 in the Richland County courthouse.
However, Courson’s attorney, Rose Mary Parham of Florence, has filed a motion to delay the trial to an unspecified date because she has been scheduled “for an unavoidable medical procedure” the week of March 12.
“This procedure will impact ... trial preparation,” Parham wrote to S.C. Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen, who is set to preside over the trial.
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“Further, undersigned counsel’s doctor has advised her that she will be unable to participate in court hearings the week of March 19,” Parham wrote.
Motions such as Parham’s usually are granted.
Late Thursday, special prosecutor David Pascoe filed a motion agreeing to the delay.
Courson was indicted by the State Grand Jury and charged with laundering campaign funds to his personal use through his political consulting firm, Richard Quinn & Associates. He also faces charges of misconduct in office and criminal conspiracy.
Courson, 73, first was elected in the Senate in 1985. He has maintained his innocence since his indictment last March. He has been suspended from office after his indictment, leaving his district without representation in the Senate for almost a year.
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 the checks in his personal Bank of America account and pocketed the money, according to Pascoe. It is illegal to use campaign money for personal expenses.
This is the second time Courson’s trial has been delayed.
His case originally was scheduled to go to trial Jan. 29. But Parham won a six-week delay because she had to go through thousands of records that Pascoe’s office had turned over to her.