A State Grand Jury report argues Attorney General Alan Wilson’s used of a Statehouse corruption probe target was “poor judgment at best” and potentially interfered with the investigation.
The grand jury report into a four-year probe of illegal lobbying by legislators and a powerful Republican consultant was made public Tuesday. A state judge had cleared its release last week after the lead prosecutor said the grand jury’s work was finished.
Seven Republicans — including six former legislators — were indicted in the probe, with four ultimately pleading guilty. Jury trials are still planned against two others. Criminal conspiracy charges were ultimately dropped against the seventh individual GOP consultant Richard Quinn, although he agreed that his company First Impressions, Inc., (also known as Richard Quinn & Associates) would pay $3,000 in restitution for illegal lobbying.
The report was released by the probe’s lead prosecutor Democratic First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe. It accuses Wilson of impeding the investigation and communicating behind the scenes with Quinn and two other legislators who were named as potential targets. The report did note that the Republican attorney general had offered “legitimate reasons” for his actions and did not accuse him of criminal acts, but it questioned his judgment for continuing to correspond with individuals under investigation. [Read more…]