GREENVILLE (WSPA) – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster called on Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis to resign on Friday.
The governor is the only person who has the power to remove Lewis from office if he’s committed of a crime.
There have been calls for the sheriff to step down after a lawsuit was filed by a former sheriff’s office employee, accusing Lewis of sexual assault and harassment.
Governor McMaster said in a statement released over Twitter “it’s clear that Sheriff Will Lewis’ ability to effectively lead one of SC’s largest law enforcement agencies has been compromised by inappropriate actions – actions which he has acknowledged. It would be in public’s best interest for him to voluntarily step aside.”
“If I could remove him from office, I most certainly would.”
Speaking at an event in Rock Hill, Governor McMaster told media that “given the lack of confidence that has been expressed by Council and others in Greenville – one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the whole state – because of that lack of confidence, I think now is the time for him to step down.”
“This is a question, as I see it, in public confidence in an elected official,” said McMaster. “When that confidence is gone, it’s time for the elected official to be gone.”
Lewis admitted to an affair with former Greenville County Sheriff’s Office employee Samantha Nabors during a statement in front of reporters on October 19, but denied the lawsuit accusations of sexual assault and harassment.
Greenville County Council voted unanimously in a special meeting this week on a resolution asking Lewis to resign. That resolution is non-binding.
The Greenville County Republican Party released this statement, Friday afternoon: “With the Governor, Lt. Governor, many State Legislators, and an unanimous County Council calling for the Sheriff to step aside; we believe that it’s going to be difficult for the sheriff to oversee this agency well, and it would be in the best interests of all parties if he stepped down.”