Chris Corley

Chris Corley, right, and his wife Heather leave Aiken County Court after he was sentenced to five years probation for domestic violence. Photo: Maya T. Prabhu/Post & Courier Staff

Former state Rep. Chris Corley, a Graniteville Republican, pleaded guilty Aug. 7 to assaulting his wife. In a December incident, Corley beat his wife and threatened to kill her in front of their child. A judge sentenced him to five years probation in the case, and he will have to attend anger management classes and do community service. Corley’s wife begged the judge for leniency for the former legislator, saying she was “desperate” to keep the family together.

AG Consulted With Quinn on Letter in Corruption Probe 

State Attorney General Alan Wilson reportedly consulted with embattled political consultant Richard Quinn on a letter which would have attempted to toss special prosecutor David Pascoe off the State House corruption probe — an investigation that has targeted Quinn’s firm, among others. According to The Post and Courier, which obtained emails via the Freedom of Information Act, Wilson reportedly coordinated with Quinn on the wording of an October 2014 letter that sought to derail the probe. Quinn’s son, state Rep. Rick Quinn, is among those who have since been indicted in the investigation. John Freeman, a University of South Carolina law professor and legal ethicist, called the exchange between Wilson and Quinn disturbing. “I have never heard of a chief prosecutor deliberately sharing confidential information or plans concerning a criminal investigation with someone who was a target or a subject of the investigation,” Freeman said. “Mr. Wilson has some explaining to do.” Meanwhile, Wilson told the paper that he was simply asking Quinn to make sure his grammar was correct in the letter and says he never ended up sending the letter, opting to speak with Pascoe instead. Wilson reportedly has spent $500,000 in campaign funds with the Quinn consulting firm over the years.

State Democrats called for Wilson to resign following the revelation. “The appearance of collusion exposed in [Sunday’s] Post and Courier makes it clear that the time has come for the attorney general to resign,” said Anthony Thompson, the Democratic Party’s second vice chair. “At best, he has used poor judgment that compromises public faith in both the ongoing corruption probe and his office. At worst, he has participated in obstruction of justice.” Wilson brushed off that call to resign. “The Democratic Party’s statement is laughable and ridiculous,” the attorney general said, according to The Post and Courier. “If they bothered to look at the facts, they would be embarrassed to have even suggested it.”

Templeton’s “Proud of the Confederacy” Remark Draws Ire 

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Catherine Templeton has drawn scorn after her remarks at a forum in Pickens in which she said she was “proud of the Confederacy.” “I don’t think she understands the diversity we have in South Carolina and that we’re not all a bunch of flag-waving yahoos,” said Joe Darby, the AME Church’s presiding elder over the Beaufort District. “When you elevate the Confederacy, you stomp on the memories of those who were subjugated, the slaves. She’s stomping on my ancestors.” Charleston NAACP chairwoman Dot Scott says she fears Gov. Henry McMaster likely shares the same views as Templeton about the Confederacy, which troubles her about the 2018 governor’s race. “We have two candidates that give NAACP heartburn,” Scott said. “We’re continuing the same mindset that brought us [Emanuel AME church shooter] Dylann Roof. Dylann Roof did not rewrite history. He was reflecting history the way it is.”

Lieber Correctional Warden Out

A month after a high profile inmate escape, the warden of Lieber Correctional Institution has been replaced. Joseph McFadden is out of the post he has held at the Ridgeville prison since 2013. He’s being replaced by longtime prison system employee Joel Anderson. On July 4, inmate Jimmy Causey used a makeshift dummy to fool officers and escaped from the maximum security prison. Officers didn’t realize he was gone for 18 hours.

Report: Hipps’ Family Settles Suits

The family of Tucker Hipps, the Clemson University student who mysteriously died in Lake Hartwell in 2014, has settled lawsuits it brought against Clemson, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and several fraternity members. Hipps was found dead in the lake after going on an early morning run with fraternity members. Hipps, 19, was reportedly forced to walk on a narrow railing above the water during the incident.

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