Thousands could lose voice in South Carolina House if Rep. Chris Corley is indicted or resigns

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GRANITEVILLE, S.C. (WJBF) – With the first regular session of the South Carolina General Assembly just days away, District 84 residents are wondering if they will be represented in the State House.

Last week, Representative Chris Corley was arrested and charged with criminal domestic violence and pointing a weapon.

Corley is allowed to remain in office unless he is indicted on those federal charges. For now he continues to represents nearly 37,000 thousand people in the Statehouse, but those constituents could go without representation if the lawmaker is indicted or resigns.

“I think he should resign that would be the right thing to do,” said a Graniteville resident.

“I would rather see proof of exactly what happened,” Thomas Scott told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Waves of mixed emotions are running through South Carolina’s District 84, since people learned of the criminal domestic violence charges against the area’s State Representative.

On Tuesday, WJBF NewsChannel 6 went to Corley’s office in Augusta to give him a chance to talk, but he was not there.

His staff told our crew they could reach him via email for questions.

While Corley has not commented on whether or not, he will be at the General Assembly, replacing the State Representative could cost taxpayers more than $30,000 dollars to hold a special election.

The entire process could take more than 120 days after the position become vacant, whether Corley is indicted and forced to resign or makes the decision to step down on his own.

“Do you think he’s capable of representing the Graniteville area?” Asked WJBF NewsChannel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“Well he could be capable of doing it, but what he did was wrong.” Aiken County resident, Darryl McKenzie said.

“No not at this time,” said another person.

Still some residents say they can’t make a decision about the fate of the representative and feel it’s better to leave it in the hands of the judicial system.

“So he should stay in that position until he’s proven guilty,” Domenico Guerrieri, a resident of District 84, told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “I’m not a native of this country, but one thing that I learned to appreciate when I first came over, was the justice system. One of the best things is innocent until proven guilty.”

WJBF NewsChannel 6 reached out to Corley for comment, we have yet to hear back.

The first regular session of the General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, Jan. 9, in Columbia.

Corley has a first court appearance on Friday, Feb. 10, in Aiken County.

For both felonies, he is facing up to 15 years in prison.

Corley has represented District 84 since 2014, when he replaced Roland Smith. He won the election with 58 percent of the vote that year.

In 2016, the Republican incumbent ran unopposed.

The next general election is in November of 2018.Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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