Mudslinging gets personal in race for Greenville Co. Sheriff

Greenville Co. sheriff candidate Will Lewis, Sheriff Steve Loftis

Monday, Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis says his opponent put his family’s safety in danger with a new campaign ad.

The ad that Loftis says was mailed to homes across Greenville County with his home address in plain view–something he says, crossed the line.

“When my home address was put on one of those negative mailers, that put my wife in unnecessary danger and that just goes to show the lack of consideration for me and my wife’s safety in our home.”

The ad was sent by fellow republican and former Deputy Will Lewis, who will face Loftis in a runoff election next week.

Lewis says he had no reason not to print his address on the campaign ad, which claims Loftis failed to pay taxes.

“When he failed to pay his taxes, he’s the one that put his address out there for the public to view.  That’s a public viewable document,” says Lewis.

Loftis owned up to the tax allegation and says it was taken care of.

“Once I was notified by the IRS, I took care of that penalty and it was paid in full.”

Loftis went on to say Lewis is not qualified to work for the county.

“If he were to apply for a deputy position today, he would be considered ineligible.”

Loftis produced documents that show in 2011, Lewis was accused of conduct unbecoming a deputy for being untruthful during an internal investigation and for hugging and kissing a female deputy on the cheek while on a call in front of a suspect.

Lewis says Loftis accepted his resignation in good standing.

“He presented a letter to me with his signature that says I resigned in good standing and with no misconduct.”

Loftis’ representative says signing off on Lewis’ resignation on good standing is standard procedure.

“That’s a formality. That’s required of any department head when somebody leaves law enforcement. Will resigned before he was fired,” says Tim Brett, PR Representative for Steve Loftis.

Lewis has challenged Loftis to a one-on-one debate with him; Loftis declined, stating he’s participated in seven debates already.

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