Greenville Co. Council moves forward with audit of sheriff’s office

GREENVILLE CO., S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville County Council says they will move forward with a financial evaluation of the sheriff’s office.

This comes after council members Joe Dill and Willis Meadows asked for a forensic audit back in October.

Council voted to use a specific employee out of Charleston from the firm Elliot Davis to conduct the independent outside audit.

The call for an audit comes after a lawsuit was filed, detailing an alleged sexual assault by the Sheriff involving one of his former employees at a conference in Charlotte.

The lawsuit also accused the Sheriff of harassment.

“The control… It’s out of control,” said Councilman Joe Dill.  “We think that there’s no oversight.”

County Administrator, Joseph Kernell, who’s also named in the lawsuit, will be responsible for securing the firm.

County Councilmen Joe Dill and Willis Meadows told 7News they’re questioning if there is an abuse of power and money under Sheriff Will Lewis.

Both agreed a forensic audit would help look at how the money allocated to the Sheriff’s Office is spent, and if it was spent appropriately.

“People want an answer,” said Dill. “People want to know what is happening with their money that we’re allocating.”

While the Greenville County Council doesn’t have oversight over the Sheriff’s Department, they do approve the budget.

Dill and Meadows said they had a number of concerned constituents call them about how their money was being spent.

They told 7News they were asked if it was appropriate for the Sheriff and his former assistant, Savanah Nabors, to stay out of state for a work trip.

“Do you have to go to Charlotte or some other city in order to get the privacy, in order to get your budget? My contention is no,” said Meadows.

Dill said constituents also questioned whether Nabors needed the brand new deputy car Lewis reportedly gave her.

“I think a forensic audit will tell us the answers to that,” said Meadows.

Councilman Dill did say the salary of the sheriff was greater than any other sheriff in the state.

“The previous sheriff having 30 years experience, he had had meritorious raises, and the salary was at $161,000,” Dill said. “When Mr. Lewis got elected, he automatically moved into that slot.”

Dill says if council wanted to, they could vote next meeting to cut the sheriff’s salary because they do have that power.

However, there are some concerns that even if something alarming is found in the audit, there’s not much council could do.

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