GREENVILLE CO., S.C. (WSPA) - After a former Greenville County Sheriff's Office assistant filed a 40-page lawsuit detailing allegations of sexual assault and harassment against the Sheriff, council members started looking closer at money the Sheriff's Office was spending.
One of the items scrutinized was a trip outlined in the lawsuit by Savanah Nabors. Nabors states on November 7th, she was taken to Charlotte with Sheriff Will Lewis and Major Marcus Davenport for a Sheriff's Office budget meeting. From Greenville County, Administrator Joe Kernell, Deputy Administrator John Hansley, and Assistant Administrator Shannon Herman also attended at the request of the Sheriff.
Documents we received through a records request, show that Kernell, Hansley, and Herman stayed at the Hyatt House Hotel in Charlotte from Tuesday March 7th to March 9th. The total cost of their 2-night stay in 3 separate hotel rooms, cost $1439.60. Three receipts from the records request outline food costs for the trip at $242.67. We requested the same documents from the Greenville County Sheriff's Office, who denied the request, citing the ongoing SLED investigation.
None of the receipts dictate where the budget was discussed. When we asked a Greenville County spokesperson where the meeting was held, they stated the information was provided through the receipts, but wouldn't specify where. The lawsuit alleges there was an hour-long meeting in the hotel lobby.
We also received copies of the Fiscal Year 2017 and Fiscal Year 2018 budgets. Sheriff Lewis requested and received 2 million dollars more for full time salaries then Sheriff Loftis did.
We showed these documents to councilmen Joe Dill and Willis Meadows. Both council members are expected to ask county council to approve a forensic audit of the Sheriff's Office on November 7th.
Sheriff Steve Loftis tells 7 News that he never took any out of town trips to discuss the Sheriff Office budget, during his 14 years as Sheriff.