After South Carolina’s attorney general rejected their calls to resign, S.C. Democrats said Wednesday that they want Gov. Henry McMaster to suspend him.
McMaster responded he doesn’t have the authority to suspend S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson — and wouldn’t even if he did. Wilson has not been formally accused of misconduct, the governor's office noted.
S.C. Democratic Party chairman Trav Robertson called Wednesday for McMaster, R-Richland, to use his constitutional power to remove Wilson, R-Lexington, over emails that Wilson sent to a political consultant about a State House corruption probe.
Robertson argues the emails — between Wilson and his political consultant, Richard Quinn — constituted misconduct, grounds for the governor to remove a public official.
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“The Constitution clearly outlines what our Republican governor’s duty is when cases of misconduct are discovered,” Robertson said in a press release. “When the Republican Attorney General sought the advice of and shared information with Richard Quinn, the potential target of the corruption probe – it became a case of neglect of duty and potential misconduct.”
In a 2014 email, Wilson asked Quinn to read a letter removing special prosecutor David Pascoe from the State House investigation, then focused on House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston.
Pascoe’s probe since has resulted in the indictment of three other legislators, including state Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, Richard Quinn’s son. Rep. Quinn was indicted in May on two counts of misconduct in office.
On Monday, Democrats called on Wilson to resign after the email exchange was reported by The Post and Courier of Charleston.
Wilson told the Charleston paper he wanted Quinn to review the dismissal letter for its tone and grammar, and made no substantive changes based on Quinn’s recommendations.
“Of course, I will not resign,” Wilson said in a statement Monday, responding to the Democrats’ call for his resignation.
“The Democratic Party’s statement is laughable and ridiculous. If they bothered to look at the facts they would be embarrassed to have even suggested it.”