Greenville Co. asks to dismiss parts of sexual harassment lawsuit

Greenville Co. Administrator Joe Kernell
Greenville Co. Administrator Joe Kernell

Greenville County and County Administrator Jospeh Kernell have filed a motion to dismiss parts of  a lawsuit claiming sexual harassment against Sheriff Will Lewis.

Former assistant to the Sheriff, Savanah Nabors, filed a lawsuit in October, claiming that Lewis sexually harassed her for her entire employment. Through the lawsuit Nabors also claims that Lewis sexually assaulted her on a work trip to Charlotte in March, to discuss the budget. Lewis admitted to having a consensual encounter with Nabors, but denies any criminal wrongdoing. County Administrator Joseph Kernell was also on that trip.

In the motion filed late Wednesday, an attorney for the county and Kernell states that the Home Rule Act shows that they cannot discipline the Sheriff and therefore, they should be held responsible in the amended complaint.

The motion goes on to state that Nabors’ attorneys have failed to present a violation of civil rights. The motion also states that Nabors’ EEOC complaint is filed against the Sheriff’s Office and not the county.

Previously Lewis and the Sheriff’s Office also filed a motion to dismiss many of the claims in the amended lawsuit, and the county followed suit with a motion of support for that dismissal.

Allegations of sexual harassment first surfaced again Lewis in a blog post by Nabors, that has since been deleted. SLED has been investigating Sheriff Lewis since the first of September.

After admitting to an extramarital encounter, several top lawmakers called on Lewis to step down, including Governor Henry McMaster, Lt. Governor Kevin Bryant, and Greenville County Council. Lewis has remained in office, despite these calls.

To read the full motion, click here: Gvl County motion to dismiss