The elected supervisor of Chester county, South Carolina has been arrested on a host of charges, according to Richland county jail records provided to this news outlet.
Shane Stuart – who was at the heart of a hit-and-run controversy last year – is staring down charges of criminal conspiracy, misconduct in office, manufacture of methamphetamine (two counts) and drug trafficking.
Because he is a locally elected municipal official, Stuart is automatically suspended from office in connection with the charges filed against him.
News of Stuart’s arrest was first reported by The (Chester, S.C.) News and Reporter.
The charges against Stuart were filed by the state grand jury, which operates out of the office of S.C. attorney general Alan Wilson.
According to the indictments against him, Stuart “did willfully, unlawfully and feloniously unite, combine, conspire, confederate, agree and have a tacit understanding … for the purpose of accomplishing an unlawful object.”
Specifically, he stands accused of conspiring to steal “catalytic converters from vehicles owned by Chester county” during the month of August, 2020.
Earlier this month – on or about September 3, 2020 and again on or about September 15, 2020 – he was accused of participating in an effort to “knowingly manufacture, distribute, dispense, deliver and purchase methamphetamine.”
Stuart was also charged with misconduct in office for spending time “during the official workday” and using “an official government vehicle or vehicles to facilitate methamphetamine trafficking.”
Such acts, per the indictment, were “in breach of his duty of good faith, honesty and accountability to the public.”
In a separate indictment, Stuart was accused of methamphetamine trafficking – specifically on or about September 9, 2020 he did “knowingly possess, sell, manufacture, deliver, purchase, or bring into this state … ten grams or more of methamphetamine.”
As of this writing, Stuart remains incarcerated at the Alvin S. Glenn detention center in Richland county.
Chester county is a largely rural region located in the Interstate 77 corridor between Charlotte, N.C. and Columbia, S.C. It is home to approximately 33,000 residents.
As we reported last year, the county has been the site of a furious battle over whether it should abandon its elected “supervisor” model and move instead to a form of government in which county council chooses an administrator – which is the way it is done in thirty-four of South Carolina’s forty-six counties.
Two other counties choose a manager to handle executive functions, while six counties have no chief executive post.
Worth noting? Stuart is the second elected official in Chester to be suspended from office in as many years. Last spring, county sheriff Alex “Big A” Underwood was suspended from office after being indicted on a multitude of federal charges.
Stuart and Underwood were political allies.
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