First witnesses take the stand in Will Lewis trial

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – The jury is seated and the first witnesses have taken the stand as the trial began Monday for suspended Greenville Co. Sheriff Will Lewis.

Lewis is charged with misconduct in office related to a taxpayer funded trip to Charlotte where he’s alleged to have an extra-marital affair with his personal assistant, Savanah Nabors.

The first prosecution witnesses focused on drawing a comparison between Nabors’ salaries and perks and other administrative coordinators and assistants.

Nora Sullivan took the stand first. She’s been an administrative assistant with the department for more than 20 years.

Prosecutors asked: “Did anything unusual stand out to you in regard to (Nabors’) hiring and employment? Was it done how it typically is done?

Sullivan answered: “No. I think she was already hired.”

Sullivan testified in January 2017 when Lewis became sheriff, Savana Nabors’ job was a new position created by Lewis.

With no title to give it, Sullivan said it was filed under “administrative coordinator.” That’s a title two others with over 25 years experience held at the department.

Prosecutors asked: “Do you know what Savana Nabors’ starting salary was?”

Sullivan answered: “Her yearly salary was $62,000.”

Sullivan said a new deputy made roughly $30,000 a year depending on experience, a lieutenant with 23 years of experience made roughly $63,000 a year, and a sergeant with 29 years experience made $66,000 annually.

Prosecutors asked: “A sargeant who had been there 29 years had been working there longer than she had been alive?”

Sullivan said: “Basically, yes sir.”

Next on the stand was Jackie Cooper, an administrative coordinator with 30 years experience at the department. Her salary in January 2017 was roughly $54,000 annually.

She was asked about alleged perks Nabors was given by Lewis. She said she never saw perks for herself.

Prosecutors: “Did you have a cellphone or smart phone issued to you by the sheriff?”

Cooper: “No sir.”

Prosecutors: “Laptop?”

Cooper: “No sir.”

Prosecutors: “Ipad?”

Cooper: “No sir.”

Prosecturos: “Have you ever had a vehicle assigned to you?

Cooper: “No sir.”

Prosecutors: “”Do you have an assigned parking space?

Cooper: “No sir.”

Proscutors: “How many out of town work trips were you invited on?

Cooper: “None.”

Then, Master Deputy Laura Jones, who was a member of the bomb squad when Lewis hired Nabors as his personal assistant, testified her recollection of when Lewis introduced Nabors to a bomb squad meeting..

Jones: “(Lewis) said she is off limits.”

She continued: “I took it to mean that they were to stay away from her. The guys were to stay away from her.”

During cross examination, Lewis’ attorneys attempted to show Nabors’s salary was warranted for the longer hours she worked and another employee was brought on at the same time with the same salary to help restructure the department,

They also said other employees were given raises as well by Lewis.

The jury is made up of six white women, six white men, and two black men.

Testimony resumes Tuesday morning at 9:30.

WATCH ENTIRE FIRST DAY OF TRIAL:

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