Three days ago, this news outlet exclusively reported that the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) had launched an investigation into long-serving Greenville county sheriff’s office captain Darius Hall.
“According to our sources, a criminal referral related to Hall was made to (SLED) during the Republican primary phase of the 2020 special election for sheriff of Greenville county,” we noted at the time.
Hall, a 26-year veteran of the agency, was a candidate for sheriff in the bitterly contested special election that just concluded last month. He finished third in the initial round of voting for the GOP nomination on January 7.
That tumultuous election was necessitated by the October 2019 removal from office of former sheriff Will Lewis – who was found guilty of one count of misconduct in office stemming from a lengthy SLED investigation into his brief tenure at the helm of this $45 million-a-year department.
As we noted earlier this week, our sources indicated the investigation into Hall involved “multiple misconduct” allegations – most of them issues related to compensation at the sheriff’s office and various “side jobs” worked by the veteran officer.
Our sources also told us these “side jobs” were a “common problem” within the office.
How common? So common, apparently, that SLED has reportedly expanded its probe to include similar allegations against multiple officers. According to our sources on the ground in Greenville county, the “side job” issue dates back “many years” – and a deep dive into it could ultimately ensnare dozens of current and former sworn law enforcement personnel.
To be clear: This news outlet does not begrudge law enforcement officers for working “side jobs” to supplement their income. At all.
Rank-and-file police officers and sheriffs’ deputies are not paid nearly as much as they should be given the vital public safety responsibilities they are assigned – and they danger in which they often place themselves while carrying out these responsibilities. Accordingly, they should be able to earn additional income in the private sector as they are able to do so – although we have consistently argued such employment opportunities should not involve the use of taxpayer-provided equipment or other resources.
Or coincide with their on-duty hours …
Stay tuned … this news outlet will continue to dig into these allegations and let our readers know any additional information we are able to uncover.
In other Greenville county sheriff’s office news, this news outlet has not received a response to its pre-election Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request related to GOP sheriff’s nominee Hobart Lewis within the time frame prescribed by law.
We will be reaching out to the office one last time regarding this request later this week before pursuing our options under the law.
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? We have an open microphone policy! Submit your own letter to the editor (or guest column) via-email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE. Want to help support what we’re doing? SUBSCRIBE HERE.