LEXINGTON, S.C. — On May 24, Criminal Domestic Violence Prosecutor Nicole Howland was suspended due to a violation of sheriff’s department policy 1.12: Treatment of Person in the Performance of Duty. What was at the crux of the issue was her handling of State v. Staack in which she failed to abide by guidelines that state that employees should always be civil and courteous when dealing with the public.

In the case in question, Marci Staack, an ex-girlfriend of Cyndi Roland was charged with harassment in January, but Howland dropped the charges against Staack on April 19. The two split in September 2010. Roland received nearly 300 texts and hundreds of calls, all documented. According to WIS-TV, “Howland told Roland, ‘She said that she was not going to try the case because she felt she could not find six jurors to hear the case due to my alternative lifestyle.’ The case was not re-opened.”

“I’m a taxpayer, just like everybody out there,” Roland told the station. “I have rights. I deserve equal justice just like everybody else does. I don’t care how I live my life. That’s nobody’s business. I’m asking for help and can’t get it.’”

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.