As Greenville Sheriff special election looms, Interim Sheriff Johnny Back Brown looks back


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)-As Greenville County gears up to elect a new sheriff they’ll also be saying goodbye to a familiar face. Interim Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown stepped into the role amid the Will Lewis scandal.

Brown was tapped by the governor to take over when former Sheriff Lewis was suspended from his position. Brown had previously served as sheriff for more than two decades. This time when he leaves office, it will likely be the last.

Brown will tell you he’s a native to Greenville County and loves the people here and in the sheriff’s office.

“It’s been an honor for me to come back and lead this agency. And it’s been a privileged and that i never thought i’d have again,” Brown said.

It had been 17 years since he left this office and when he came back he knew it was up to him to move the office forward.

“Morale was low obviously. They had gone through a tremendous impact with the Sheriff being indicted and removed from office,” Brown said.

He said the employees were looking for a leader and he put an emphasis on communicating and being a good listener.

“I’ve always said managers make sure things are done right, leaders make sure right things are done,” Brown said.

And he has tried to do just that. Brown says he plans to work hard until his very last day to accomplish all he has set out to do.

“I’ve got a vision that I want this agency to move forward with technology. because if we don’t keep up with technology we’re going to fall behind,” Brown said.

He thinks he’s also led the office to earn some trust back from the community.

“Everywhere I go somebody will stop me and say thank you for coming back. Thank you for getting the train back on the tracks after the train wreck,” Brown said.

Brown said of course he’ll miss being part of the Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m going to miss being involved, I like making decisions. And I’m going to miss that,” Brown said.

But that if they need him again he’ll be ready to serve.

“If they need me a third time and I’m not in a nursing home in a wheelchair or something, I’ll be here,” Brown said.

Brown also said the person elected to the position in the special election will have to work quickly to gain the confidence of the public.

His one regret is leaving office with open positions at the agency.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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