Longest-serving SC sheriff indicted on 10 bribery charges - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Longest-serving SC sheriff indicted on 10 bribery charges

Posted: Updated:
Metts -- Image from WLTX-TV Metts -- Image from WLTX-TV
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • FL man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    FL man spray-paints garage door with message for thief

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:39 AM EDT2014-07-27 15:39:37 GMT
    Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.Jerry Ashley's message spray-painted on his garage door.
    A Lakeland man has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.Jerry Ashley is still grieving over the passing of his wife Darlene, who died from an aneurysm last month at the age of 48.His loss has been compounded by thieves, who broke into his Lakeland home this week.Ashley has a lot of fond memories of his wife, and many of those memories are stored in a computer that was stolen from his home, now he taking an u...
    A Lakeland man has spray-painted his garage door with a message for the thief who stole his late wife’s laptop filled with sentimental photos.Jerry Ashley is still grieving over the passing of his wife Darlene, who died from an aneurysm last month at the age of 48.His loss has been compounded by thieves, who broke into his Lakeland home this week.Ashley has a lot of fond memories of his wife, and many of those memories are stored in a computer that was stolen from his home, now he taking an u...
  • SCHP: No charges filed in deadly motorcycle accident

    SCHP: No charges filed in deadly motorcycle accident

    Sunday, July 27 2014 9:45 PM EDT2014-07-28 01:45:14 GMT
    No charges will be filed in an accident that killed a motorcyclist in Horry County Sunday afternoon, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.The accident happened at 2:50 p.m. at the intersection of US-17 and Lake Arrowhead Road. Troopers say aChevrolet Impala was attempting to turn left onto Lake Arrowhead Road when a Harley Davidson motorcycle failed to stop for a red light on US-17 North. [The driver] laid their motorcycle down in the road, causing the biker to cross the path of the...
    No charges will be filed in an accident that killed a motorcyclist in Horry County Sunday afternoon, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.The accident happened at 2:50 p.m. at the intersection of US-17 and Lake Arrowhead Road. Troopers say aChevrolet Impala was attempting to turn left onto Lake Arrowhead Road when a Harley Davidson motorcycle failed to stop for a red light on US-17 North. [The driver] laid their motorcycle down in the road, causing the biker to cross the path of the...
  • Hundreds of dollars worth of quarters taken from car wash in the upstate

    Hundreds of dollars worth of quarters taken from car wash in the upstate

    Monday, July 28 2014 6:27 AM EDT2014-07-28 10:27:25 GMT
    Spartanburg Police are looking for 3 male suspects after police say they robbed a car wash Friday evening. Saturday police responded to a robbery call at Rick's Super Wash on John B. White Sr. Blvd. The owner told police that when he came in that morning he noticed that one of his coin machines was damaged and the money missing. According to reports, the owner showed the officer the surveillance footage and in that footage three white males were seen breaking into the coin machine using wires...
    Spartanburg Police are looking for 3 male suspects after police say they robbed a car wash Friday evening. Saturday police responded to a robbery call at Rick's Super Wash on John B. White Sr. Blvd. The owner told police that when he came in that morning he noticed that one of his coin machines was damaged and the money missing. According to reports, the owner showed the officer the surveillance footage and in that footage three white males were seen breaking into the coin machine using wires...
COLUMBIA, SC - South Carolina's longest-serving sheriff has been indicted on bribery charges, according to federal prosecutors, making him the eighth sheriff in the state to face criminal charges or investigations in the past four years.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Tuesday that the 68-year-old Lexington County Sheriff James Metts faces 10 charges of taking bribes. He is also charged with wire fraud and conspiracy.

Court documents say Metts allowed friends to buy favors, accepting cash in return for agreeing to assist people who were in the country illegally and who were being detained.

The indictment detailed several phone calls between Metts and a former Lexington Town councilman, who was acting as a go-between for the owner of several Mexican restaurants. Metts accepted an envelope full of cash in exchange for keeping some of the restaurants' employees from ending up in federal databases of immigrants who weren't supposed to be in the U.S., according to the indictment.

In office since 1972, the Republican has received a number of awards, including the Order of the Palmetto and the Order of the Silver Crescent, and is up for re-election in 2016. It wasn't immediately known whether he was in custody.

His lawyer, Sherri Lydon, issued a statement on his behalf. "Sheriff Metts has dedicated his life to law enforcement and serving the citizens of Lexington County. He denies the allegations and looks forward to his day in court," she wrote.

Gov. Nikki Haley suspended Metts about an hour after the indictments were released and appointed Lewis McCarty, who retired in 1999 after nearly 30 years with the Lexington Department, as the acting sheriff.

Metts began his law enforcement career as a dispatcher with the West Columbia Police Department in 1967. In 1972, at the age of 25, Metts became the youngest sheriff ever elected in the nation, according to his online biography, and has served ever since in the heavily Republican county outside Columbia.

He was named South Carolina's sheriff of the year in 1982.

In 1998, he pondered a GOP primary challenge to then-Gov. David Beasley - whom he had helped get elected four years earlier - and even mulled running as an independent before ultimately supporting the incumbent.

The sheriff's ties to video gambling date to that campaign, during which he advocated a statewide referendum on the issue and received contributions from video gambling interests. Metts said he'd return the contributions after disbanding his campaign, and state lawmakers ultimately banned video gambling in 2000.

The U.S. Attorney's Office wasn't available for additional comment Tuesday.

Metts is the eighth South Carolina sheriff to be charged or investigated in about four years and at least the fourth accused of taking kickbacks.

___

Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

Zip Code Weather!
Get a local weather report and a 10-day forecast by typing in your zip code!
Powered by WorldNow

101 McDonald Court
Myrtle Beach, SC 29588

Telephone: 843.293.1301
Fax: 843.293.1760
Email: news@wbtw.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company