The South Carolina’s Sheriff’s Association has kicked out Greenville County’s top lawman.
The association’s board voted Monday to terminate Sheriff Will Lewis’ membership in the group, it announced in a release. It’s the first time the organization has ever actually expelled a member since changing its rules two years ago after a string of embarrassing arrests or corruption investigations into sheriffs offices across the state..
“We are not, in any way, trying to be the moral police,” Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile, who chairs the board, said in a statement. “We want to send a clear message to our citizens – we, as Sheriffs, will do what is right at all times, not just when it is convenient. We will be above reproach and we will expect the same of our peers.”
A former employee accused of Lewis of firing her after she resisted his sexual advances. Savanah Nabors also claims Lewis drugged her into sex while the two were at a conference in Charlotte. Lewis admitted last month to a sexual encounter, but insisted it was consensual. The employee has since sued and state police are investigating. South Carolina Radio Network does not normally name potential victims of sexual assault, but Nabors has identified herself in social media posts.
The Sheriff’s Association provides training and resources for each of South Carolina’s 46 sheriffs. It also lobbies in favor of law enforcement interests at the state and federal level.
The statement said Lewis was given due process and a chance to defend himself at the board’s Monday meeting, but the sheriff did not challenge the assetion that his conduct was “detrimental to the Association.”