Gov. Nikki Haley suspends Metts, appoints former Lexington asst. sheriff

Published: Jun. 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 27, 2014 at 10:19 PM EDT
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Alfred "Lewis" McCarty (Source: WIS)
Alfred "Lewis" McCarty (Source: WIS)

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Gov. Nikki Haley suspended Lexington Sheriff James Metts after he was indicted Tuesday on 10 federal charges and names new appointment for sheriff.

State law gives the governor authority to suspend an elected official of the state who has been indicted by a grand jury for a "crime involving moral turpitude." The suspension will continue until Metts is acquitted or the indictment is otherwise disposed of, or until a sheriff is elected and qualifies in the next general election for Lexington County's sheriff – whichever occurs first.

Metts, 68, has held the position as the state's longest serving sheriff.

Haley then named Alfred "Lewis" McCarty, 72, as Lexington County's sheriff, effective immediately. McCarty is a Lexington County resident and served as assistant sheriff for Lexington County from Jan. 1, 1973 until Jun 30, 1999, when he retired after 37 years in law enforcement. He also served as a patrolman with the West Columbia Police Department starting in 1964 and worked his way up to lieutenant at his resignation in December 1972.

McCarty graduated from the FBI National Academy in 1979. He has been involved with the S.C. Law Enforcement Officers Association, Lexington County Law Enforcement Officers Association, FBI National Academy Associates, National Sheriff's Association and Police Marksman Association.

The acting sheriff received numerous awards during his time in law enforcement, including the Strom Thurmond Award of Excellent in Law Enforcement.

In a statement released late Tuesday night, McCarty said he was honored to be appointed by the governor.

"We have great people employed here and we will maintain the highest professional standards this Department has been associated with in the past. I look forward to working with each and every one of you. My number one priority is maintaining integrity and public confidence in this Department," said McCarty.

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