GREENVILLE CO., SC (WSPA) – 7 News has learned that the General Counsel for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office was placed on paid administrative leave on Tuesday, while SLED agents were on scene continuing their investigation that resulted in two indictments against Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis.
SLED agents were on scene as part of their 7-month ongoing investigation into Sheriff Will Lewis. Lewis self reported to SLED after a former assistant claimed Lewis sexually harassed and assaulted her during her employment.
Lance Sheek was hired as a General Counsel for the Sheriff’s Office in February of 2017.
A county official confirmed to 7 News that Sheek was placed on paid administrative leave by Chief Deputy Marcus Davenport on Tuesday. Davenport states Sheek was placed on administrative leave after now suspended Sheriff Will Lewis was indicted on charges of Obstruction of Justice and Misconduct in Office.
The action was taken before Interim Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown was sworn into office after being appointed by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster.
As of the time this story is being published, we do not know if the move to place Sheek on administrative leave may be connected to the SLED investigation into the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.
16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett stated on Tuesday that additional arrests and charges are possible as a result of that ongoing SLED investigation. Lewis is facing two indictments of Obstruction of Justice and Misconduct in Office.
Attorney John Reckenbeil tells 7 News if Counsel Sheek is a subject of the SLED investigation, questions about the attorney-client privilege will likely come into play.
“The attorney client privilege is only available when you are getting and give advice, you cannot give and get advice on a crime. So if an attorney is in a way instructing a client on okay this is how we avoid an investigation or avoid an indictment or destroy these type of documents, it’s not protected under the attorney client privilege,” said Reckenbeil.
If Counsel Sheek becomes part of the SLED investigation, it is likely that a “taint team” made up of lawyers who are not involved in the underlying investigation would be put in place to review materials obtained by investigators, before being turned over as evidence to the prosecutors.
SLED would not confirm or deny if Sheek is included in the ongoing SLED investigation or whether a “taint team” has been established. A spokesperson for Brackett’s office stated she wasn’t aware if Sheek was part of the investigation or if a “taint team” had been established.
Our calls to Mr. Sheek’s personal phone and his county issued cell phone went unanswered.