Suspended Greenville County, South Carolina sheriff Will Lewis is facing additional misconduct charges as part of an ongoing investigation into his brief tenure in office, according to reporter Madeleine Hackett of WYFF TV 4 (NBC – Greenville/ Spartanburg, S.C.).
A grand jury in Greenville County, S.C. returned six specific “superseding” misconduct in office indictments against the embattled law man – who was already facing multiple criminal charges in connection with an investigation led by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
Another superseding indictment – for obstruction of justice – was also returned against Lewis.
The first count of misconduct alleged that Lewis misused public resources and abused the authority of his office “for the corrupt purposed of pursuing or facilitating an adulterous relationship.”
Another indictment accused Lewis of allegedly “disposing of seized assets in violation of law” – which is obviously a hot-button topic in the Upstate following a series of reports published by The Greenville News on the issue of civil asset forfeiture.
Another count alleged that Lewis lied about a conducting a background check on one of his deputies, while another count alleged that he committed fraud by “equipping an unqualified employee with a badge in violation of state law.”
Here are the latest indictments …
Last spring, Lewis was indicted on charges of obstruction of justice and misconduct in office and promptly suspended from office pending the resolution of those charges. Last month, Lewis was indicted on perjury and statutory misconduct in office charges.
These seven new “superseding indictments” delineate the initial charges filed against Lewis last April. The perjury and statutory misconduct charges filed last month, however, remain from these superseding indictments.
In other words, Lewis is staring down at least nine individual indictments as of this writing. And as we have noted on several previous occasions during this ongoing investigation, more charges could be filed against him.
The criminal investigation into Lewis began after one of his former employees accused him of drugging and raping her on a taxpayer-funded “business trip” to Charlotte, North Carolina.
Lewis’ sex/ corruption scandal – most of which unfolded exclusively on our pages – began in August of 2017 when this news outlet first reported on seismic allegations made against him by 25-year-old Savannah Nabors.
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“He’s a church-going man, strong in his faith,” Nabors wrote in a since-deleted blog post. “You think he could never be capable of something so manipulative, so hypocritical. The man that you think is legal, ethical, and moral is anything but those things.”
Nabors’ allegations were expanded upon in a bombshell lawsuit filed against Lewis (and Greenville County government) in October of 2017. In that lawsuit, it was graphically alleged that the 43-year-old sheriff drugged and raped Nabors during the Charlotte trip.
U.S. district court judge Donald Coggins dismissed the civil lawsuit in late October, though, after the parties to the action – Nabors, Lewis and Greenville County taxpayers – reached an undisclosed agreement.
As with anyone accused of committing any crime, Lewis is to be considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as he might wish to enter a pleading in connection with the charges filed against him. Many believed Lewis would issue precisely such a pleading last spring, but such an agreement with prosecutors never materialized.
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