GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – According to a spokesperson with the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Former Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis is beginning his year behind bars with processing at Kirkland Correctional Institution in Columbia, where all male South Carolina inmates are processed.
There is no word yet on where Lewis will serve his time, but his attorney Rauch Wise has asked that he be placed in protective custody.
“I think letting people know that when you betray the public trust in the fashion that this man did that you go to prison,” said 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett, who prosecuted the case. “That’s what needs to happen.”
Wise told 7News that he will probably appeal Lewis’ conviction for misconduct of a public officer.
“It’s a very vague statute, and exactly what he had to do to violate it is really, I think, almost in the eye of the beholder because the wording of it is so vague,” Wise said.
According to the law the jury ruled Lewis broke, a public officer can be imprisoned for up to a year if they are found guilty of “official misconduct, habitual negligence, habitual drunkenness, corruption, fraud, or oppression.”
Gov. Henry McMaster signed an executive order Friday to officially remove Lewis from office.
For now, interim Greenville County Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown will remain in that position. The people will pick a new sheriff in a special election on March 10. The primary will be held January 7.
Brackett asked voters to think carefully about who they choose to represent them.
“This is your government, and if you want quality people, you want decent folks to run it, then you need to take the time do it because you’re the ones that put them there,” Brackett said.
Candidates running for sheriff can start filing Nov. 15.