State attorney caught with stripper during lunch break, fired - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

State attorney caught with stripper during lunch break, fired

Roland Corning Roland Corning
AG McMaster spoke to reporters after the incident was made public AG McMaster spoke to reporters after the incident was made public
Police Chief Carter also gave a short news conference Wednesday Police Chief Carter also gave a short news conference Wednesday

By Logan Smith - email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A former South Carolina legislator has been fired from the state attorney general's office after authorities say he was discovered in a cemetery with a teenage stripper during his lunch break.

Police reports released Wednesday said 66-year-old Roland Corning was stopped Monday after his car was spotted in an area police say is known for sex and drug use.

According to the report, a Columbia police officer watched Corning drive into the Elmwood Cemetery at around 3:15pm Monday. When Corning spotted the patrol car, the report says he quickly drove off.

A visitor to the cemetery saw Corning's SUV speeding through the area, and police pulled him over a few blocks away.

Police say an 18-year-old woman who works at the Platinum Plus strip club was with Corning. Corning and the woman gave police conflicting statements as to why they were at the cemetery and the nature of their relationship, the report said.

Police also found Viagra and sex toys that Corning said were there "just in case."

Corning, who told the officer he was on his lunch break, identified himself as a prosecutor and was not arrested. The woman was also let go.

"We received credible information about inappropriate behavior Monday afternoon," McMaster said Wednesday. "And by the close of business, he was no longer working here."

Such a trip to the cemetery "would not be appropriate at any time, for an assistant attorney general," McMaster continued.

McMaster denied claims that his office made any calls Monday that influenced the police investigation.

Columbia Police Chief Tandy Carter also defended the officer's decision to let Corning and the woman go free.

"We have absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about," said Carter. "We think this officer followed proper procedures that we have, and also shows that he also performed his duties textbook perfect."

Corning was a state legislator in the 1990s. He has worked in the top prosecutor's office since 2000. Plowden said Corning was hired by McMaster's predecessor, Charlie Condon.

Copyright 2009 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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