GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- 7News is taking a closer look into the background of the candidates who want to be the next Greenville County Sheriff. 7News examined records, including employment and training histories from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and independent reports.
Records show Hobart Lewis worked at the Greer Police Deparment from 1994 to 2004 and then with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office from 2010 to 2014, when he resigned. Sean Zukowsky was hired at the Sheriffs Office in 2015 from another police department and resigned in 2019 to take a job with another agency. Robert Whatley has been with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office since 1993.
Records show Paul Guy, the sole Democrat running, was terminated by Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown in 1999 after more than a decade at the Sheriff’s Office.
“I work for the pleasure of the sheriff. The sheriff has a right to fire you,” Guy said. “If you disagree on something, then that’s what happened. So I disagreed with the methods o the techniques.”
Brown declined to comment.
The sheriff also declined to comment on the day of suspension without pay Capt. Darius Hall received 20 years ago. Hall has been with the sheriff’s office since 1994.
“What we were written up for is called failure to report, and the administration felt like we should have reported the supervisor who was sending us home early,” Hall said.
He said it was and still is part of the Sheriff’s Office policy to send deputies home early to make up for working extra hours at other times in the pay cycle. He said it was discovered that his supervisor was having an affair during work hours and sending employees, including Hall, home early. But he said they didn’t know about the affair and were never paid for work they didn’t do. He said he thinks he and the other deputies disciplined didn’t do anything wrong, and he will continue to fight the mark on his record after the election.
“You didn’t challenge the administration back then like you do now,” he said.
A.T. “Tommy” Smith spent several years at the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office and nearly 30 years at the Secret Service. He was deputy director there from 2012 to 2015. In 2014, an independent panel said it met with about 50 members of the secret service and found “an organization starved for leadership that rewards innovation and excellence and demands accountability. From agents to officers to supervisors, we heard a common desire: more resources would help, but what we really need is leadership.”
Amid what Smith called a “relentless political situation,” he said he agreed to be transferred to ICE as a senior advisor. He said the pressure from Congress was based on personal issues.
“At one point or another I had to answer alot of questions from Congress, which we did,” he said. “Those two members were all too happy had I resigned or had I left, but I did not. Instead what I said is I will go over to another assignment which I did as a senior advisor for transnational orgnaized crime, and I completed my time there.”