A state circuit judge Tuesday granted suspended state legislator a $50,000 bond on two misconduct charges, but the lawmaker’s attorneys argue the case’s special prosecutor should be removed.
The State Grand Jury indicted State Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington, last week on common law misconduct in office and statutory misconduct in office charges. The indictments stem from accusations by First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe that Quinn did not report $4.5 million in payments made to firms he owned. Those payments were made by individuals and groups with business before the state legislature from 1999 until 2017. Pascoe argued in court Tuesday that Quinn never disclosed his financial ties to those groups and voted on legislation which could benefit them.
Quinn has not denied the payments, but his attorneys were adamant in court that groups such as the House Ethics Committee and Attorney General’s Office had reviewed the lawmaker’s dealings and cleared them.
State Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office has turned over the investigation to Pascoe and the State Law Enforcement Division as Quinn’s political consulting firm previously helped Wilson’s 2010 campaign.
Attorney Debbie Barbier asked Judge Knox McMahon to disqualify Pascoe from the case, arguing a State Law Enforcement Division team which raided the Richard Quinn & Associates firm (RQA) headed by Quinn’s father did not properly ensure the protection of potentially confidential documents. Barbier questioned if SLED used a “taint team,” which analyzes seized documents to ensure those protected by “attorney-client privilege” are not reviewed by investigators.
SLED Capt. Richard Gregory testified during Tuesday’s hearing that no effort was made to read those protected documents, which he said were sealed. He also maintained neither Pascoe nor his staff attempted to obtain them for review.
Quinn’s attorney Johnny Gasser insisted his client has no financial ties to RQA and was not an employee at the powerful consulting group during his time in the Statehouse. Pascoe claimed he had documents showing “exactly the opposite” and that the firm wired money to Quinn on several occasions and the lawmaker claimed he was a partner while seeking a loan several years ago.
During a break in the hearing Quinn told reporters he believes the investigation is politically-motivated, accusing Pascoe (elected as a Democrat) of only prosecuting four Republican leaders in the case so far. He further accused Pascoe of planning to run for attorney general — a seat currently held by one of his former clients Alan Wilson.
House Speaker Jay Lucas suspended Lucas hours after his indictment, citing House rules