Staring down multiple state and federal criminal charges – and potentially decades behind bars – Chester county sheriff Alex “Big A” Underwood inexplicably filed for reelection on Monday. The scandal-scarred law man submitted his paperwork with Chester county election officials at 11:52 a.m. EDT – just eight minutes before the filing deadline.
He will seek the Democratic nomination for this seat, and in fact has no opposition in the primary election.
In other words, Underwood is the Democratic nominee for this post – which he technically still holds.
Take a look …
(Click to view)alex-underwood-filing
One Republican – interim sheriff Donald “Max” Dorsey – submitted paperwork to seek his party’s nomination. Dorsey – a former captain in the narcotics division of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) – has been serving as sheriff of Chester county for the last ten months after governor Henry McMaster appointed him to fill in for Underwood.
No other candidates filed …
Underwood has been suspended from office since his original indictment last May (along with two of his subordinates) on a multitude of federal charges. Those charges stem from an alleged conspiracy to cover up the unlawful arrest of (and excessive use of force against) a detained individual – Kevin Simpson.
Last March, we exclusively reported that Underwood was at the heart of a federal investigation – one quickly approaching a point of “critical mass.” After our story ran, Underwood was referenced by reporters Tony Bartelme and Joseph Cranney of The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier in connection with a series the paper ran on shady sheriffs.
In November, Underwood was indicted again by the feds on charges that he misappropriated county tax dollars to subsidize personal and family travel, dodged employment taxes on payments to off-duty deputies and forced on-duty deputies to do manual labor on his property.
Specifically, federal prosecutors accused him and his subordinates of erecting a “scheme and artifice to defraud and obtain money and property by means of false pretenses.”
At the state level, Underwood is facing three counts of misconduct in office, two criminal conspiracy counts, two embezzlement counts, two counts of using his office for personal gain and one count of forgery.
As with the federal indictments, his two top subordinates – former chief deputy Robert Sprouse and ex-lieutenant Johnny Ricardo Neal, Jr. – were also hit with multiple state-level indictments.
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