Politics & Government

Columbia mayor won’t cut Quinn ties, hasn’t testified in corruption probe

Rick Quinn, son of Quinn firm owner is indicted

For years, the “Quinndom” – the Columbia-based Richard Quinn & Associates political consulting firm, headed by Richard Quinn – has been an institution in S.C. politics. Recently, however, Quinn’s network of influence got an unexpected boost, when
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For years, the “Quinndom” – the Columbia-based Richard Quinn & Associates political consulting firm, headed by Richard Quinn – has been an institution in S.C. politics. Recently, however, Quinn’s network of influence got an unexpected boost, when

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin said Monday he has not been subpoenaed to testify as part of an investigation into corruption at the S.C. State House.

The capital city’s mayor also told The State newspaper that he has no plans to cut ties with Richard Quinn & Associates, a Columbia-based political consulting firm under scrutiny by the State Grand Jury.

“They’ve done general consulting and given me strategic advice for several years now, and they’ve done really good work,” Benjamin said after a press conference held to support community development programs that the Trump Administration is considering eliminating.

Benjamin’s relationship with RQ&A is unusual; he is a Democrat and most of the firm’s political clients are Republicans.

“My plan is just to continue to observe the process,” Benjamin said. “What I know so far, I know from media reports. But if something changes, then we will re-evaluate.”

First elected in April 2010, Benjamin has paid RQ&A more than $104,000 for consulting work.

Neither Richard Quinn nor his son, state Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, has been charged with any wrongdoing.

But both were named in a secret 2013 State Law Enforcement Division investigative report into State House corruption.

Also, the March indictment of longtime state Sen. John Courson alleged the Richland Republican converted campaign money to personal use through the firm.

Asked if he received the kind of kickbacks alleged in Courson’s indictment, Benjamin laughed. “Absolutely not.”

Avery G. Wilks: 803-771-8362, @averygwilks

For years, the “Quinndom” – the Columbia-based Richard Quinn & Associates political consulting firm, headed by Richard Quinn – has been an institution in S.C. politics. Recently, however, Quinn’s network of influence got an unexpected boost, when

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