Greenville Co. Sheriff Staying Silent On Officer Firing For Now - WSPA.com

Greenville Co. Sheriff Staying Silent On Officer Firing For Now

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GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. -

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office continues to be silent on specific reasons why its 3rd-in-command was fired Thursday.

So far, Sheriff Steve Loftis is only saying he fired Major Brendan Shea Smith for violating department policies and procedures.

That came a week after Smith was suspended without pay.

Loftis said a criminal investigation involving Smith is on the way.

Since then, the Sheriff and his office has stayed tight lipped on the matter.

7 On Your Side spoke with Master Deputy Jonathan Smith (no relation to Shea Smith) and asked if the Sheriff would be breaking his silence.

While it's perhaps procedure not to comment on criminal investigations, we wanted to know if he had anything to say about the department shakeup and what they were doing to ensure the public's trust would not be shaken.

Smith said the Sheriff has received many calls on the matter and, after careful consideration, is choosing to keep silent.

Smith said Sheriff Loftis feels any comment, direct or indirect, could hurt the investigation.

Master Deputy Smith said they will speak once the investigation is complete.

As a former spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Major Shea Smith used to talk to media all the time – but not anymore. 7 On Your Side has repeatedly reached out to Smith to get his side of the story, but has not been able to get a hold of him.

7 On Your Side filed several Freedom of Information Act requests with the sheriff's office to get more answers. We requested a copy of the order to terminate Smith to find out exactly why he was fired. We also asked for all documents relating to disciplinary action against Smith, including any previous reprimands. We've requested all emails that contain orders related to Smith and all of Sheriff Loftis' emails during the weeks surrounding Smith's firing.

FBI spokesperson Denise Taiste won't confirm whether that agency is involved in this case.

13th Circuit Solicitor's Office spokesperson Marcia Barker said her office is not involved.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division also denies any involvement.


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Jenna Troum
Jenna is a general assignment reporter covering Greenville, Pickens and Laurens Counties.
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