Gov has ‘complete confidence’ in South Carolina prison chief

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s governor is expressing support for his state prisons chief following riots at a maximum-security prison that killed seven inmates.

Gov. Henry McMaster’s spokesman Brian Symmes tells The Associated Press on Monday that the governor has “complete confidence” in director Bryan Stirling’s ability to lead the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

Stirling was appointed by then-Gov. Nikki Haley in 2013 to lead the state prison agency. When McMaster took over as governor last year, he kept Stirling, who had previously worked for him in the state Attorney General’s Office.

Seven inmates died during hours of rioting that began Sunday evening. Officials say most of them were stabbed or slashed; No officers were wounded, and the names of the dead haven’t been released.