Lee Co.'s temporary sheriff works to restore trust in department

By Jody Barr - email

BISHOPVILLE, SC (WIS) - There's a new man running the Lee County Sheriff's Office, but it could be temporary. The governor still has not made a decision on exactly who will finish former Sheriff E.J. Melvin's term.

It wasn't the way Major Daniel Simon thought he'd take over the sheriff's office. He wasn't really sure he wanted the job before Monday.

After state and federal agents arrested Sheriff Melvin on Saturday, Simon took over. "We met with Chief Lloyd from the State Law Enforcement Division and he advised us that Sheriff Melvin was under arrest," said Simon.

Agents arrested Melvin before 6:00am Saturday at his Racoon Road home, where his department-issued car still sat Tuesday afternoon. Simon took over Monday, after the governor received Sheriff Melvin's hand-written resignation letter. The letter was witnessed by a SLED agent and an FBI agent.
Major Simon's job now is to restore trust in his department.

"Put the trust in the ones that you see every day," he said. "That's the only way that we can go forward. They need to be uplifted, not be knocked down.""

For the question as to just how far the conspiracy ring reached inside the Lee County Sheriff's Office beyond Sheriff Melvin, Major Simon says sled assured him his department is clean.

"They assured me that nobody else was involved with this," said Simon. "He acted alone and I was real, real encouraged to hear that."

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