Sheriff returns campaign donations from gambling operations - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Sheriff returns campaign donations from gambling operations

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Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts (Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Dept.) Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts (Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Dept.)
LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

In an effort to further distance himself from reported illegal video gambling operations, Lexington County Sheriff James Metts said Thursday night that he has returned campaign donations he received from the businesses.

On Thursday, Metts told WIS he suspended Danny Frazier without pay until a State Law Enforcement Division investigation into his possible ties to an illegal video gambling ring can be completed.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts has suspended Danny Frazier without pay until a State Law Enforcement Division investigation into his possible ties to an illegal video gambling ring can be completed.

Frazier started working for Metts three months ago as a "business liaison." Metts said the position is part-time and that Frazier did not hold any commission with the department.

After a WIS investigation into video gambling in the Midlands, Metts told WIS that he has returned $5,500 in donations his campaign received from businesses associated with video gambling.

"The only way I've been identified is because Mr. Frazier works for me in a part time capacity for a few months and unfortunately I received some money in my campaign - a very small amount out of a total amount I received," said Metts.  

Metts says Frazier was hired in April as an hourly employee,  making $14.37 with a maximum of 20 hours a week.

WIS has been investigating Frazier after obtaining a recording where Frazier discusses how to set up an illegal video poker operation and how to hide it from the law.

Several times during an interview with WIS reporter Jody Barr, Metts denied any participation in or knowledge of any of the illegal video poker businesses in his county.

After the report aired Thursday, Metts told WIS:

"Your station has tied me to being involved in an illegal gaming operation in Lexington County. That is very unfair, very untruthful and I'm very upset about it because you painted a negative opinion - that I'm involved in this activity. And I deplore you, or I ask you to prove that."

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