BERKELEY COUNTY BATTLE JUST GOT INTERESTING …
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.
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.”