Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis has created a mess. If reports in the Greenville News are true, he has disgraced his office, Greenville County, the Republican Party and his family. In the view of many county citizens, he does not have the moral or ethical character to serve as the top law enforcement officer in the County. Lewis has stated that he will not resign, and the Governor will not remove him from office unless he is charged with a crime. SLED is currently conducting an investigation and members of the County Council are asking for an audit of the Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff, married with children admits to having consensual sex with a female employee of the Sheriff’s Office. If all the other allegations are unfounded, that is sufficient to disqualify him from the office of Sheriff.
The suit filed by a former employee of the Sheriff’s office makes serious allegations and implicates County Administrator Joe Kernell in the incident that took place in a Charlotte, North Carolina hotel. The alleged victim is suing the Sheriff’s Office and Greenville County and the Sheriff and County Administrator Joe Kernell as individuals. There are indications that additional County employees and others may be involved in the scandal.
Unofficially, the purpose of the trip to Charlotte, at county expense, was to discuss the budget for the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff is an independent elected official; however, Greenville County Council must approve the budget for the Sheriff’s Office.
The civil suit alleges that the victim was drugged and repeatedly raped. The Sheriff denies the allegations. The victim alleged that she was in and out of consciousness and once moved from her hotel room to his without having any recollection of the move.
Councilmen Willis Meadows and Joe Dill have announced that they plan to ask for an audit of the Sheriff’s Office at the next Council Meeting that is scheduled for 7 November.
Kernell is currently refusing to provide the public or the media any travel documents citing the investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.
The alleged victim recorded and released to the public parts of several conversations that appear to depict the Sheriff planning to use county travel for the pleasure of the Sheriff and his employee.
A group of Democrats have already asked the Sheriff to resign. He would do Greenville County a service if he would move on and put this scandal behind his office.