AG candidate Herlong vows to stamp out corruption

AG candidate Herlong vows to stamp out corruption
February 13 15:14 2018 Print This Article

Greenville attorney William Herlong told the Charleston County Republican Party Executive Committee Monday that he is running for state Attorney General as the result of the statewide public corruption investigation taking place.  Herlong will face two-term incumbent Alan Wilson, State Representative Todd Atwater and possibly other challengers in the June 12 Republican primary.  The official filing period runs March 16-30.  Herlong told the group, “If the AG does his job, corruption in Columbia will go away.”

Wilson impaneled a statewide grand jury in 2014 to investigate then House Speaker Bobby Harrell on issues involving campaign finance.  He later recused himself, citing conflicts of interest, and appointed Solicitor David Pascoe, a Democrat who represents Dorchester, Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, to take over the investigation.  Harrell pled guilty to several charges and agreed to fully cooperate with state and federal investigators to look into related legal matters.  Wilson attempted to remove Pascoe and shut down the grand jury in March 2016.  Pascoe appealed to the state Supreme Court, which months later ruled in his favor.

Herlong expressed deep disappointment in an earlier ruling by state Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen to sentence former State Representative Rick Quinn to two years of probation, 500 hours of community service and a $1000 fine on a count of misconduct.  Pascoe had asked for the maximum sentence of one year in prison.  Mullen did not consider an indictment on misconduct in office, which could have resulted in 10 years in prison.  Quinn’s guilty plea in the case resulted in charges of illegal lobbying and felony conspiracy being dropped against his father Richard Quinn, founder of the powerful Columbia consulting firm Quinn and Associates.  Pascoe alleges that the younger Quinn received $4 million through the firm to influence legislation to benefit clients.  Wilson is a client of the Quinn firm, and Governor Henry McMaster is a former client.

Herlong has practiced law for 32 years, working for major law firms and operating his own for the past 13 years.  “We need an Attorney General who will go after corruption every single day,” he said.  “Special interests in South Carolina must be destroyed.”  Herlong advocates for a limit of two terms for all state constitutional officers.  The Governor is currently the only officer limited to two full terms.

Other issues of importance to Herlong are gang violence and domestic abuse.  He said that the state grand jury process may be used to prosecute gang crimes.  He said the grand jury process is the best tool available to the Attorney General and that he would take full advantage of it.  He also pledged to go after crimes committed by corporations, citing his experience in corporate law.