Lexington County corruption was 'black cloud', many say - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Authorities, lawmakers say 'black cloud' of corruption hung over Lexington Co.

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

Many state law enforcement officials and state lawmakers have said Lexington County has had a black cloud of corruption allegations over it for at least two years.

That's also the same amount of time this investigation surrounding these allegations has been going on.

From charges of using inmate labor for personal gain to credit fraud and even selling evidence, Sheriff's Association President Jeff Moore has seen it all.

"We have elected sheriffs," Moore said, "and I think, by and large, I've worked for 160. And maybe 10-12 have found themselves in trouble."

South Carolina already gets a "F" rating when it comes to corruption risk, according to "The State Integrity Investigation." However, some leaders in state law enforcement say the system isn't making it easy to be corrupt.

"It's a case of getting too big for your britches," defense attorney Pete Strom said. "Sort of the 'Boss Hog' attitude that 'I've got these inmates and I can use them to do private labor for me,' or 'I've got more power,' statutorily than they actually have constitutionally."

Although suspended Lexington County Sheriff James Metts has denied any connection to video gambling rings in the past, those in the legal community say the scope of this investigation could expand as more information comes forward.

"We've heard about video poker," Strom said. "We've heard about other things being speculated in the community. All of that stuff has been looked into and it may come into play if other people cooperate."

Metts faces more than 20 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines if found guilty.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • The Latest: Trump urges VA nominee to keep fighting

    The Latest: Trump urges VA nominee to keep fighting

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 9:46 AM EDT2018-04-24 13:46:17 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:30 AM EDT2018-04-25 10:30:48 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this April 16, 2018, photo, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, M.D., sits with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Veteran's Affairs Committee, before their meeting on Capitol Hilin Washington. Jackson is President D...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this April 16, 2018, photo, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson, M.D., sits with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Veteran's Affairs Committee, before their meeting on Capitol Hilin Washington. Jackson is President D...

    The White House is standing behind Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be Veterans Affairs secretary amid growing questions about his qualifications.

    More >>

    The White House is standing behind Ronny Jackson, President Donald Trump's choice to be Veterans Affairs secretary amid growing questions about his qualifications.

    More >>
  • Lax vetting on Trump nominees begins to frustrate senators

    Lax vetting on Trump nominees begins to frustrate senators

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:47 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:47:40 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:29 AM EDT2018-04-25 10:29:56 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). CIA director Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo arrive for a State Dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump at the White House, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). CIA director Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo arrive for a State Dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump at the White House, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington.

    As President Donald Trump's pick to lead Veterans Affairs skids to a halt, senators from both parties are voicing frustration that the White House is skipping crucial vetting of nominees and leaving lawmakers to...

    More >>

    As President Donald Trump's pick to lead Veterans Affairs skids to a halt, senators from both parties are voicing frustration that the White House is skipping crucial vetting of nominees and leaving lawmakers to clean up the mess.

    More >>
  • Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

    Jury to deliberate after Cosby painted as predator, victim

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-04-25 04:26:54 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:29 AM EDT2018-04-25 10:29:35 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Slocum). Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial near a cloud of bubbles blown by a protester, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum). Bill Cosby departs after his sexual assault trial near a cloud of bubbles blown by a protester, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pa.

    Jurors at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial are poised to start deliberating after a marathon day of closing arguments.

    More >>

    Jurors at Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial are poised to start deliberating after a marathon day of closing arguments.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly