Leadership fallout begins in wake of James Metts' indictment - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Leadership fallout begins in wake of Metts' indictment

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The fallout has begun from yesterday's breaking news about the indictments of Lexington County Sheriff James Metts and three others.

The changeover in leadership at the Lexington County Sheriff's Department did not stop with the suspension of James Metts.

Our sources tell us at least six higher ranking officers and possibly as many as eight have suddenly left the staff since the appointment of acting Sheriff Lewis McCarty.

It is not clear how many of these were firings as a result of actions by McCarty, who retired from the department in 1999 after 23 years of service. A couple more may still be pending.

But we've learned a number of key positions are involved, including a chief deputy and top officers in the Lexington County Detention Center, which is run by sheriff, as well as the department's tactical squad and legal office.

Meanwhile, we received indications the suspended sheriff would not be appearing for an arraignment today and might not appear until a hearing sometime next week.

The charges contained in the 10-count indictment released Tuesday are federal, which means he will have to appear before a federal magistrate.

Metts' attorney, Sherri Lydon, declined additional comment as did the state attorney general's office. Attorney General Alan Wilson put out a statement Tuesday citing an ongoing joint investigation that aims to attack public corruption "wherever it is found."

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