Endorsement-For-Hire Scam Alleged In SC Sheriff’s Race

BERKELEY COUNTY BATTLE JUST GOT INTERESTING …  || By FITSNEWS || For the record, we don’t really care who the next sheriff of Berkeley County, S.C. is … as long as it’s not last sheriff. We do care, however, if the incoming sheriff is as corrupt as his predecessor … especially given…


|| By FITSNEWS || For the record, we don’t really care who the next sheriff of Berkeley County, S.C. is … as long as it’s not last sheriff.

We do care, however, if the incoming sheriff is as corrupt as his predecessor … especially given the Palmetto State’s history of corrupt sheriffs.  And there are some seismic, on-the-record allegations of corruption being made in the runoff election between candidates Duane Lewis and Brian Adams.

Lewis is the chief deputy for Santee Cooper – a government-run utility.  Adams is lieutenant with the North Charleston, S.C. police department.  They were the top two finishers out of a sixteen-person “Republican” field in a late April primary race.

But because neither one of them got close to receiving more than fifty percent of the vote, they must face each other in a runoff election – which is currently scheduled for May 5 (a.k.a. next Tuesday).

Now – less than 72 hours before the polls open – one of the candidates in the primary election is accusing Adams of corruption.  Jerry Merrithew – one of the fourteen candidates who failed to make the runoff – tells us Adams attempted to gain his endorsement (as well as his exit from the race) with a bribe.

Specifically, Merrithew sent us an email outlining a scheme in which Adams allegedly offered to make him a Captain in the Berkeley County Sheriff’s office if he “dropped out of the race before the primary.”

Here’s the email we got …

Before the Republican primary I was approached by Brian Adams and offered a Captain’s position with the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office in exchange for me dropping out and endorsing his candidacy.  I received multiple phone calls from some of Adams close supporters and had an in person visit with Mr. Adams.

I told Mr. Adams that I had invested a large amount of my personal finances in the race and would see what Election Day brought.

After learning that the conversation I had with Mr. Adams and his offer of employment for a political favor could be considered unlawful. I feel that it is my duty to come forward.

We are just days away from an election that has been centered on ethics, integrity, and transparency.  Based on my knowledge of each candidate I endorsed Duane Lewis. This meeting with Mr. Adams could possibly bring some type of investigation therefore I cannot provide further details.

FITS reached out directly to Merrithew to confirm the substance of the email.

“So this guy offered you a job in exchange for your endorsement?” we asked.

“Yes,” he responded.

Wow …

Adams’ campaign wasn’t immediately available to respond to the allegation, although Adams has previously accused Lewis of being the one with a corruption problem – citing his coziness with former sheriff Wayne DeWitt (who resigned his post in the wake of a drunk driving incident last December).

Obviously we’ll be following up this report as soon as we receive a response …

UPDATE: A spokesman for Adams’ campaign told FITS “Merrithew is flat out lying.”


Related posts


South Carolina’s Blue Crab Bill On Hold

Dylan Nolan

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

Callie Lyons

Southern Charm Saga: Kathryn Dennis Arrested For DUI



FastEddy23 May 2, 2015 at 2:31 pm

We are shocked! …. Shocked!

Bible Thumper May 2, 2015 at 2:49 pm

I think Jerry Merrithew is a liar. We see a pattern that is repeating events of the Lexington county election. Charges are made close enough to impact the election but too close for an investigation or rebuttal by the accused.

It failed in Lexington and it will fail again. Jerry Merrithew had 10 days after the primary to make his accusations, but chose to wait until 72 hours before the run off.

Brian Adams wins.

Mike at the Beach May 2, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Wrong this time, mi amigo. Lewis is in the coveted “Andre Bauer” slot. The vast majority of those votes for candidates with heavy ties to Berkeley County were votes against Adams (who works in North Charleston and is generally seen as an outsider in Berkeley County). Besides, this would be a pretty stupid lie to tell in that it was claimed loud and proud and should be pretty easy to refute. This is not the sorry-ass whisper campaign that was waged against Koon in Lexington… Lewis wins by 10-15 points.

Bible Thumper May 2, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Probably right. Don’t know either. Lewis got the most votes in the first round and has the most endorsements. I still think it’s sleazy to make such an accusation this late in the game. I would still advise voters to disregard this accusation. I did a search and found no other media willing to report this accusation. I disagree that such an accusation is easy to refute. Adams is in a difficult spot. A public refutation gives the media an excuse to report an unsubstantiated accusation. If he refuses to respond, the media will not report anything. People tell stupid lies all the time. Stupidity is not a deterrent to lying. Seems more of an encouragement.

Mike at the Beach May 2, 2015 at 9:41 pm

Actually, Adams won the first round with 23%, Lewis got around 13%, I think. That leaves 64% of the vote to chase, and most of those won’t vote for Adams. This little kerfuffle between Adams and the Merrithew guy shouldn’t affect the race too much one way or the other…my only real point was that this is an entirely different set of circumstances from the Lexington County race, where Koon was in the catbird seat all along, and smacked down all of his opposition on night one (Lindsey Graham style).

Bible Thumper May 21, 2015 at 2:49 pm
Mike at the Beach May 21, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Dude…you’re behind the curve! We’ve been hashing this out on the other thread for a week…

NoAgendaBot May 2, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I’m shocked….shocked to find that illegal activities are going in in a Sheriff election. ITM Slaves.

Elfego May 2, 2015 at 8:28 pm

I do not know either of these parties and could care less but do you not wonder why he is just now coming forward and making this claim. It will be interesting to see if he goes to work for Adams if he is elected. By the way it is hard to believe that it is illegal to ask someone to drop and support him,even offering him a job if elected. Darn every Sheriff in South Carolina has made a promise to someone like that I believe.

jackie May 3, 2015 at 12:02 pm

the expression is COULDN’T care less, pinhead. Sound it out ,,, it’s easy

funnystuff May 3, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Because its a LIE. SLANDER.

Really? May 2, 2015 at 8:28 pm

Mr Merrithew should provide some evidence! I personally feel that this is an attempt to discredit Mr Adams honor. Mr. Merrithew has had plenty of time to come forward with this so called “offer” but he waited. Seem a little fishy? He seems to have plenty to say on other social medias, you would think that he would put that out there as well. Why would he go out of Berkeley County to put this out there. I mean really… If it’s illegal then file a complaint and have him punished. Yeah, he’s not doing that. What does that tell you? Before you (FITNEWS) run these types of articles I would suggest you do more research yourself!

nitrat May 3, 2015 at 10:54 am

What I have heard all my life, since the days of Rembert Dennis, from my relatives in Berkeley County is that…well, the concept of ‘honor’ does not exist there.
Although, I would bet that just makes Berkeley like most SC counties.

funnystuff May 3, 2015 at 5:06 pm

Brian is the only candidate to have the courage to run against Dewitt last election.

Mike at the Beach May 3, 2015 at 11:50 pm

Smart politicians knew that no one was going to beat Dewitt in the last election. That’s why none of them ran. Local elections are fairly straightforward exercises in statistical analysis if you know what you’re doing. The Lexington County race that we’ve been discussing is a perfect example. The grownups knew that as crooked and jackassed-up as he was, Metts was not beatable.

You getting paid by the hour here, or by the post?

funnystuff May 4, 2015 at 7:51 am

Brian is the only candidate to stand up for the citizens who are tired of the corruption and want change. If the other candidates cared about the citizens they would have ran sooner. No one is paying me anything. I’m ready for change and it’s coming.

Mike at the Beach May 4, 2015 at 8:31 am

What I am is a man who can read (and understand) statistics, and who doesn’t like wasting other peoples’ money. Smart pick their battles and make their own timing, but you keep jousting at windmills if you like. I’ll bet you a ham biscuit that by late Tuesday night you’ll have a better understanding of what I’m talking about. In the meantime you keep spouting your hyperbolic nonsense.

funnystuff May 4, 2015 at 7:53 am

so basically you’re telling me that even if you don’t think you can win you shouldnt at least try? I bet you’re a man of real courage

Ih8whitetrash May 2, 2015 at 8:42 pm

It gets better this dumbass Adams does not know how to fill out an affidavit (not a very good quality for a law enforcement officer) and he forgot to include his high school graduation date (as required by state law) so even if people are dumb enough to vote for him on Tuesday he will get removed by the democrats.

Mike at the Beach May 3, 2015 at 3:04 am

Can they really remove a candidate over a silly clerical error like that? One would think that SC wouldn’t have a seated politician anywhere as intellectually challenged as most are…

At any rate, what was even more amusing was when Adams unsuccessfully ran against Dewitt in the last cycle, and said (at a debate) that his solution to problem businesses in Berkeley County would be to take away their county business licenses. This would be difficult, since Berkeley County doesn’t issue those. Even if you’ve never worked in the county you want to be the sheriff of, you might want to bust out a few minutes on or the county website when you’re writing your platform.

TontoBubbaGoldstein May 2, 2015 at 8:43 pm

Wonder what position Mr. Merrithew will wind up in if Mr. Lewis wins…

TontoBubbaGoldstein May 2, 2015 at 8:46 pm

A quid pro quo in a political race?



TontoBubbaGoldstein May 4, 2015 at 5:55 am

*raises head and croaks*

Don’t just upvote!!
Pry Aunt Pittypat away from CNN’s 24/7 Baltimore coverage and have her fetch TBG’s smelling salts!

OMG May 3, 2015 at 12:51 am

Haha, like anyone wants Merrithew endorsement. I mean, did he even receive 50 votes? Oh, yeah is was 298. Someone looks desperate.

funnystuff May 3, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Jerry is a joke in and of himself. He has ties to BCSO just like Lewis and the candidates supporting him. Berkeley residents are tired of good Ole boy system.

TontoBubbaGoldstein May 3, 2015 at 8:17 am

…a runoff election – which is currently scheduled for May 5 (a.k.a. next Tuesday).

…a.k.a. Cinco de Mayo, El Jefe.

Voters Are Usually Imbeciles May 3, 2015 at 9:24 am

If the voters in Berkeley County are like the ones in Lexington, corruption is not an issue that would disqualify a candidate for Sheriff. I never voted for Metts. I told people for years that he was a crook. A few already knew or listened to what I told them, but a landslide majority continued to vote for him each and every election, to include the one AFTER the Danny Frazier tapes story broke.

With Metts out of the Sheriff’s Office, a landslide majority voted for the three candidates who had strong ties to the same crime ring Metts was working for. One of the candidates was also tied to a crime ring in another county. The one guy in the running with no ties to existing organized crime was soundly defeated.

We really need IQ and current events tests before someone is allowed to cast a vote. Too many fools cast their precious votes based on the number of road signs, yard signs, tv and radio ads, or bumper stickers.
All that tells you is who is getting the largest amount of bri…, er, campaign contribution money.

Nan May 3, 2015 at 11:29 am

I heard exactly the same thing from a very reliable source. It is sickening that these we seem to have thugs as sheriffs.

funnystuff May 3, 2015 at 5:01 pm

It’s odd….no other news source will entertain Jerry’s slanderous claims.These are unfounded and baseless accusations designed to disenfranchise voters. The pattern is clear. They try to force Brian off the ballot with less than a week to go before the primary and now they are attempting to assassinate his character with less than a week to go before the run off. The “good ol boys” will stop at nothing in their attempt to keep Bryan Adams out of the sheriff’s office. Vote Brian Adams on May 5th and let’s send the good “ole boys” a message that Berkeley County is ready for change! Together we can make a difference!

Jane De Spit May 3, 2015 at 6:57 pm

You mean somebody offered a job in exchange for support in a political campaign? OMG I can’t believe that would ever happen… SAID NOBODY EVER!

Crooner May 4, 2015 at 11:19 am

Didn’t I just see on CNN that half of the field of Republican presidential primary candidates are running for either a cabinet post or VP?

Andrea Gaele May 5, 2015 at 3:34 pm

Lewis’ supporters sure are wallering in their own mudhole today, trying to sway the outcome. LOL. Y’all are pathetic.

Tamara Lawrence May 13, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Write in BELLEW, MC for sheriff! None of the partisan nonsense or “good ol’ boy” agendas.


Leave a Comment