SC

Another SC Sheriff Busted

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…

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 …”

Related posts

SC

South Carolina’s Blue Crab Bill On Hold

Dylan Nolan
SC

Residents: Forgotten Gullah Cemetery Desecrated During ‘Clean-up’

Callie Lyons
SC

Southern Charm Saga: Kathryn Dennis Arrested For DUI

FITSNews

61 comments

GreenvilleLwyr February 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

You forgot Abbeville County Sheriff Charles Goodwin, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon, Orangeburg County Sheriff Larry Williams,
Union County Sheriff Howard Wells, and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.

Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/02/19/4040616/williamsburg-county-sheriff-indicted.html#storylink=cpy

Reply
Jackie Chiles February 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm

What did Leon Lott do?

Reply
GreenvilleLwyr February 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm Reply
Jackie Chiles February 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Seems ok to me. Have you been to Columbia lately?

Reply
Jay Ellington February 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Lott is personal friends with Joe Biden, isn’t that enough?

Reply
snickering February 23, 2014 at 10:12 am

Guilt by association? Careful that’s what the government uses to advance their goals.

Reply
CorruptionInColumbia February 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Head of “The Lott Family”, which has managed to insert its members into various key positions in Midlands-area law enforcement, even though said members had about as much business in those positions as I would have performing brain surgery. Examples include but may not be limited to Dan Johnson, Randy Scott, Ruben Santiago, and Leon’s old buddy, Jim Matthews.

Reply
Smirks February 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Don’t Worry CoC, if you slip the right people the right amount of money, you won’t get busted for illegal brain surgery. ;)

Reply
Murray_Lake February 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Hardly equivalent to what all these convicted crooked Sheriffs have done.

Reply
easterndumbfuckastan February 22, 2014 at 9:23 pm

That takes time. Hopefully Diamond Jim will be denied that.

CorruptionInColumbia February 24, 2014 at 3:25 am

^ What easterndumbfuckastan said! ^

The Colonel February 22, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Jim Matthews doesn’t fit in this group of clown car commuters – he’s done a superior job in Kershaw after defeating a corrupt “good ol’boy”. By all accounts, his force has become something to be proud of instead of just one more deserving scorn.

Reply
CorruptionInColumbia February 22, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Jim has turned his department into a giant traffic division and as such, seems to be perpetually crying poor and asking the council of that county for more funds because he doesn’t have enough deputies, because he has so many of them out perpetually playing Highway Patrol.

As others and myself had predicted, Jim came from a Federal agency which had a bottomless budget, and tried to use the bottomless budget play in a semi-rural county which has finite financial resources. In addition to that, he has further indebted the county to the expensive radio system that has damaged or wrecked departmental budgets all over SC. Monthly payments to that radio system to keep each and every base, mobile radio, and walkie-talkie functioning and on the air will quickly take a big bite out of a department’s budget once the Federal grants provided to help get the department dependent on these radio systems, run out. As a side note, the Sheriff’s Department to his immediate North, in Lancaster County did not fall into that trap and they seem to make out just fine.

I had begun to warm to him just a little, given his handling of the brutal kidnapping, rape, and murder, of a young lady which involved his and other jurisdictions, a couple of years ago, but he lost me again when he proclaimed to the media that he had the right to tell his deputies who they could or could not sleep with on their off time. Such is the mark of a panderer and someone with severe delusions of grandeur.

The Colonel February 23, 2014 at 11:10 am

All I know is that you can drive I-20 and US-1 safely once again, drugs are down and most of the Kershawans I know are more than pleased with what’s going on. I knew Jim long before he was the Sheriff – you couldn’t ask for a more honest or effective guy.

CorruptionInColumbia February 24, 2014 at 8:52 am

I never noticed that stretch of I-20 being any more dangerous than the ones in Richland, Lexington, or other counties that it runs through.

easterndumbfuckastan February 22, 2014 at 9:18 pm

From the eastern range where we know some things. Diamond Jim and his pretentious wife are nothing be smoke and mirrors. He needs to be voted out post-haste. Thomley for Sheriff 2014.

9" February 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Sixty-three-yeaer-old(sic)Thomas Edgar “Sonny” Clark pleaded guilty … 06/07/2005 – A Richland County deputy has been fired by Sheriff Leon Lott after he shot …

Reply
Halfvast Conspirator February 21, 2014 at 2:39 pm

He dint do nuffin

Reply
Pillsbury Dough Boy February 21, 2014 at 2:40 pm

I wonder if he got the idea by running up his credit card at local restaurants.

Reply
Ass Blow February 21, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Suc ma dic mofuca

Reply
CorruptionInColumbia February 21, 2014 at 3:19 pm

If you are going to be a Sheriff (or Police Chief) and engage in corrupt acts, you need to have the backing of a large political machine which will ensure that SLED and even Federal agencies will not touch you. Examples of such machines include but may not be limited to the Lexington Crime Ring or the Richland/Columbia Political Machine.

Reply
Alan Storm February 21, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Not to forget Chucktowns Dinwiddie-Hawk Cartel, eh?

Reply
CorruptionInColumbia February 21, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Hi Alan! I’m not familiar with that particular one, but I don’t doubt you. There are plenty to go around.

Reply
shifty henry February 21, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Pull up the movie “The Captive City” on Youtube to see what CiC is talking about. 1952-b&w-John Forsythe stars……..

Reply
Smirks February 21, 2014 at 3:33 pm

It worked the last 129 times, what could go wrong?

Reply
CNSYD February 21, 2014 at 3:43 pm

By my count there are 6 “scandals” or alleged (by Sic Willie) “scandals” in this “story”. This covers an almost 4 year period. Sic Willie infers that is a large number in spite of the fact that at any one time there are 46 county sheriffs in SC. What did Sic Willie’s research of “scandals” amongst sheriffs nationwide show. Oh, I forgot, Sic Willie doesn’t do research. He just rolls grenades across the table.

Reply
CorruptionInColumbia February 21, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Just because there haven’t been (and sadly, in some cases will never be) convictions, it doesn’t mean that crimes are not being committed and scandals are not there.

Reply
southmauldin February 21, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Ok dude, you should know by now that its JP Strom that writes most of this stuff, not sicness. Back off my buddy, I love my wittle sickie.

Reply
CNSYD February 21, 2014 at 4:44 pm

The same JP Strom who is the BEST lawyer in SC?

Reply
9" February 21, 2014 at 8:31 pm

Which,JP Strom? Don’t want to speak ill of the dead,but senior died in 1987 at age 69.I have his autograph,so to speak;)

You ever been put in a cage?

Reply
Mike at the Beach February 21, 2014 at 6:22 pm

I don’t know CNSYD… if my hometown police department had 46 officers and 6 of the clowns had been arrested, indicted, or run off for embezzlement while they waited for charges in just the past 4 years, I’m thinking that would qualify as a pretty big deal. In fact, that would be just about unheard of in SC. Sheriffs, on the other hand, are not only cops but elected officials (theoretically held to an even higher standard of public trust). I know, I know, hold the laughter, but in theory that’s how it’s supposed to work. We have a VERY high percentage of crooked-ass incompetent sheriffs in SC; that’s just a fact.

Reply
CNSYD February 21, 2014 at 11:25 pm

My point was not to excuse any illegal behavior. I was just trying to see if Sic Willie could back up his incessant claims that all things in SC are corrupt. Yes there is corruption but how does it compare to the other 49 states in regard to their LE?

Reply
Mike at the Beach February 22, 2014 at 1:46 am

OK, I hear you. Even so, I think my point reinforces Will’s position, especially since he actually left some dumbass sheriffs off of his “short list.” In recent years Goodwin in Abbeville got hammered, as did Booth (Jason, not George the elder) in Saluda. Legend-in-his-own-mind Howard Wells in Union County (who made himself famous on the back of the Susan Smith case) got nailed by the feds also attendant to public corruption case. When he was sentenced back in 2010, the AUSA skewered his ass- check it out:

“Mr. Wells’ criminal conduct did not begin, nor did it end, with making a false statement,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Moore told the court. “He was a glorified loan shark with a badge.”

Prosecutors also called Wells “a tax evader, a witness tamperer (and) a liar” before Judge Henry Floyd sentenced him to prison. Other than that I think Howard’s an OK guy… ;-)

Good grief, who else are we forgetting? Williams in O’Burg County actually died before they found out he’d stolen better than $200k. Even Al Cannon in Charleston caught some heat for slapping a dude, although that’s a “there but for the grace of God go I” kinda thing for most cops, rather than incompetence. Lots of bad guys actually could use a good bitch slap here and there.

See where my head’s at, though? That’s an ass-load of crooked asshats right there in a state with only 46 counties. Tax evasion, theft, kickbacks, inmate labor abuse, credit fraud,; you name it, we gots it. I don’t have the time to research your (valid) state-by-state comparison question, but I can tell you with a very high degree of certainty that only a few places in the US will beat us per capita. You’d have to be in the New Orleans area, or around certain major metro areas with long traditions of police corruption like Chicago and NYC. Even then, though, it wouldn’t be sheriffs (usually), but more standard fare at the line levels. We just suck at electing sheriffs, mostly. Actually, we suck at electing just about everybody.

Reply
nitrat February 24, 2014 at 8:37 pm

We suck at electing anything.

E February 22, 2014 at 8:35 am

These are the chief law enforcement officer of the counties. There should be ZERO scandals.

Reply
scotty February 21, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Sonny Clark was a first class asshole and ran with Leon doing there Miami Vice detail.

Reply
9" February 21, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Thomas E. “Sonny” Clark raped two 13-year-old boys. When the men broke their silence 2 years ago, Sonny admitted that he had raped dozens more. During the entire period, he was with the Lexington County Sheriff’s Dept. He always found a reason to arrest the boys when he marked them for his sexual uses.

The Circuit Court Judge John Breeden praised Sonny’s years of service in law enforcement before passing sentence on the two counts of 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Then Judge Breeden sentenced Sonny to 10 years in prison, which he suspended to 5 years on probation with the first 90 days to be on house arrest.

2005

Reply
CorruptionInColumbia February 24, 2014 at 8:46 am

Was he the same one who also shot and killed the Leesville police chief in a botched drug raid a couple of decades or so, ago?

Reply
9" February 24, 2014 at 11:58 am

Yes,sir.

Clark’s career took a tragic turn in February 1988 at a mobile home near Leesville, when he accidentally shot and killed Leesville Police Chief Bill Lundy while working for the Lexington Sheriff’s Department. Investigators said the shooting happened as Clark tried to help Lundy, who’d been attacked by a suspect’s dog. Clark later retired from police work.

WIS News

Reply
Squishy123 February 21, 2014 at 9:53 pm

So has the Lexington Mafia fiasco been officially swept under the rug? Nothing reported on it in months.

Reply
Murray_Lake February 22, 2014 at 2:58 pm

Was there ever a “Lexington Mafia”? Frazier, Jakie and Halfass are gone (good), Metts has been laying low, and all the “others” often mentioned don’t make news anymore. I suppose next time FITS, the Free Times or some other “news” organization dependent on showing internet site hits or readership numbers needs a bump there will be some “story” about the so-called Lexington Mafia. What about some real story such as why the Lexington taxpayers continue to pay a no-show geezer such as Harry Harman or why Lexington mayor Stevie Mac is out pandering for a job after losing the one he had with the Hudson boys.

Reply
Squishy123 February 22, 2014 at 8:54 pm

So, for as much as you’re concerned they shouldn’t be investigated any further? I just find as much as they were talking about possible jail time for all of them that there’s been nothing said for months.

Reply
ted jr February 24, 2014 at 10:07 am

Harry is on oxygen and sits in a wheel chair. They say he’s never gettin out of extended care.

Reply
Dominick Carrullo February 26, 2014 at 4:42 am

yup

Reply
Dominick Catrullo February 22, 2014 at 7:52 am

Sheriffs operate under the cover of elected officials who think that they are answerable only to the electorate. Readers may be interested to know that the SCCJA has quietly been placed under the oversight of the Sherriff’s’ Association which now dictates and oversee ALL law enforcement training Including the Department of Public Safety of which the Highway Patrol is a division. Swell. The ” do it because we can” group is now in charge of contaminating everybody else.

Reply
Mike at the Beach February 23, 2014 at 1:24 am

What are you talking about? Have they somehow skirted the law regarding the Training Council that actually oversees the operation of the academy?

“The South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy is governed by the South Carolina Training Council. The Council consists of eleven members. The governor appoints six council members who serve at will. The other five come from specified law enforcement organizations. The council meets no less than four times a year. Council members serve without compensation.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council consists of the following eleven members:

The Attorney General of South Carolina.

The Chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

The Director of the South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

The Director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections.

The Director of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

The Director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

One chief of police from a municipality having a population of less than ten thousand. This person must be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure.

One chief of police from a municipality having a population of more than ten thousand. This person must be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure.

One county sheriff from a county with a population of less than fifty thousand. This person must be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure.

One county sheriff from a county with a population of more than fifty thousand. This person must be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure.

One detention director who is responsible for the operation and management of a county or multi-jurisdictional jail This person must be appointed by the Governor and shall serve at his pleasure.”

Reply
Dominick Catrullo February 23, 2014 at 12:30 pm

You have answered your own question.

Reply
Mike at the Beach February 23, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Uhhhhh, no I haven’t. I don’t ask questions just to hear myself clicking on a keyboard. You say that it’s quietly been placed under the SCSA, while I believe that the law hasn’t changed (which leaves it under the committee appointed by the Governor). Since you won’t enlighten me I guess I’ll have to go waste a few minutes digging up the current statute to see if it’s really been changed.

Reply
Dominick Catrullo February 24, 2014 at 5:12 am

C’mon, man: you can’t possibly be that ignorant! You’re telling us that just because the statute says one thing it can’t be abrogated? How long have you lived in SC?

Mike at the Beach February 24, 2014 at 8:58 am

With the exception of ten years or so traveling around the globe for jobs I’ve spent my whole life here, so I know all about the backwardsness. I also know, though, that the Committee is still running the Academy. I also know that simply “whispering” something on this blog doesn’t make it so. The SCSA is primarily a lobbying organization, and couldn’t conduct “oversight” of the Academy if it wanted to. The Academy is in train-wreck mode these days precisely because it’s staff is in charge. Although they weren’t funded properly before, at least during their life under DPS they enjoyed some adult supervision.

Dominick Catrullo February 24, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Ya got it! Excellent!!

Mike at the Beach February 24, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Yeah, I got it. You have no fucking idea what you’re talking about. The SCSA doesn’t run the Academy, secretly or overtly.

Dominick Catrullo February 25, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Ok…then dismantle the SCCJA and start all over again. The Academy is tasked with training law enforcement in SC and are doing a miserable job of it, trust me here, I have borne sad witness to the “we do it because we can” syndrome and to hell with due process or anything else for that matter. I have never understood the premise of the academy having anything to do with training the Highway Patrol other than billeting, and if the dim bulbs that are training our Troopers are the same dim bulbs that train everybody else, then: “Houston, we have a problem.” While we’re at it, who trains SLED? I appreciate your comments.

Mike at the Beach February 26, 2014 at 12:24 am

Look, I hear you on the Academy…there are issues there and that much is certain. My only point was that the whole thing about the secret plot to let the Sheriff’s Association run it just wasn’t happening. Back in the day (like 20 years ago in the day) the instructors there were pretty sharp cats, and were basically at the top of the game. Now, it resembles the the Island of Misfit Toys (for reasons too numerous to bore everyone with here). Plenty of dim bulbs (as you say) to go around…

Dominick Carrullo February 26, 2014 at 4:44 am

You’re right…..thanks.

Dominick Catrullo February 22, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Stay on this, Sic: It will become painfully clear as to why shortly.

Reply
Arlen Cooper February 23, 2014 at 11:39 am

Aiken county has a good Sheriff in My Cunt … oops! Sheriff Mike Hunt.

Reply
Deo Vindice SC February 23, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Summers from Calhoun also, Metts from Lexington.

Reply
Limbaughsaphatkhunt February 23, 2014 at 7:52 pm

I understand people have a respect for law enforcement officers who do a difficult job under stressful conditions and relatively low pay. I also know there are good and decent ones out there.

However, South Carolina seems to be overflowing with corrupt cops from top to bottom all over the place…and has been for years. This is yet another example.

Reply
idiotwind February 24, 2014 at 9:15 am

“kill their illegitimate child”? is this the Moral Majority Daily Sinner website?

Reply
Row Row Row Yo Boat February 24, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Wait till the story cracks about Charleston County and the City of Charleston.

Reply

Leave a Comment