The rash of scandals involving South Carolina Sheriffs continues …
The latest to be busted? Williamsburg County Sheriff Michael L. Johnson – who stands accused of providing fake police reports to a Columbia man running a credit repair company.
Johnson was indicted earlier this week on conspiracy to commit wire fraud and suspended from office by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley pending the outcome of the charges against him.
How did the scam work? Johnson created fake police reports alleging identity theft so that customers of the Columbia-based credit repair company – run by Lester L. Woods – could explain their overdue bills.
Ingenious … well, until Johnson and Woods went to the well more than 130 times, allegedly.
Sheriffs staring down corruption charges is obviously nothing new in South Carolina …
Last spring Chesterfield County Sheriff Sam Parker was indicted in the wake of an inmate labor scandal. In June 2012, Saluda County Sheriff James Booth lost his job in another inmate labor scandal. In April 2012, Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain somehow managed to keep his job despite driving his girlfriend to an abortion clinic to kill their illegitimate child.
Meanwhile in 2010, Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin was busted participating in a narcotics ring – receiving “dues” from drug dealers in his county in exchange for providing them with his protection.
More recently, this website has been reporting on a major embezzlement scandal at the Greenwood, S.C. Sheriff’s Office …
Ah, “protecting and serving …”