A former Greenville County Sheriff’s deputy who was once third in command at the department is now free on bail after turning himself in Friday for two charges of official misconduct.
State Law Enforcement Division warrants accuse former deputy Brendan Shea Smith of accepting bribes from a man who operated illegal gambling establishment in exchange for helping the operator stay out of legal trouble, including sensitive information about ongoing investigations.
Smith was fired back in July after the initials accusations surfaced of his involvement with Izzat Khalil, a Greenville businessman who frequently had run-ins with the law over illegal gambling operations. The 13th Circuit Solicitors announced the charges Friday after a six-month investigation by SLED. Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis had requested the investigation to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest for his former third-in-command.
Loftis said he thought the investigation’s revelations disappointing, but said he has not lost faith in his deputies. “Just because one person in Shea’s case displayed the conduct that he has does not really cause any fear or create any reason for me not to trust the other remaining 342 deputies,” he told Greenville affiliate WORD News.
Khalil’s attorney said the businessman bought the deputy a truck and paid for his children’s school activities in exchange for information about Greenville County investigations into Khalil’s business and other gambling operations. Warrants state that, at some point between June 2008 and January 2014, Smith told Khalil “sensitive law enforcement information.”
Smith was charged with Misconduct in Office, and Public Misconduct in Office. He faces up to 11 years in prison if given the maximum sentence.