County council agrees on audit of Greenville Co. Sheriff's Offic - FOX Carolina 21

County council agrees on audit of Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office

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Greenville County Council Meeting (Nov. 7, 2017/FOX Carolina) Greenville County Council Meeting (Nov. 7, 2017/FOX Carolina)
Greenville County Sheriff's Badge (Courtesy: GCSO) Greenville County Sheriff's Badge (Courtesy: GCSO)

On Tuesday night, Greenville County council members agreed upon an audit of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office to see how money is being spent.

The request was discussed at the November 7 County Council meeting.

Greenville County Councilmen Joe Dill, Mike Barnes, and Willis Meadows initially called for an audit. Councilman Dill said the audit a way the community can have confidence in where their money is being spent and to make sure it’s going to the appropriate place it’s allocated. Dill said that he and Meadows are on board with the audit, but that it takes seven members of council to be able to do anything.

In a joint statement, Councilmen Dill and Meadows said, “We think the sheriff has done a good job since beginning his tenure in office.  Many positive changes have been made such as more deputies in communities.  We have no complaint with his performance in office.” 

The councilmen went on to say, “We realize that County Council has no oversight of who he hires, assigns to positions or disciplines.  He answers to the people who elected him.”

Two other council members replied to inquiries regarding the lawsuit against the sheriff.  Councilwoman Xanthene Norris said she thinks the sheriff should resign.  Councilman Bob Taylor said the lawsuit needs to play out.

In Tuesday night's meeting, several residents came forward in favor of the audit.

"While you can't fire Will Lewis, you can certain prevent his squandering of our taxpayer dollars," one Greenville resident said.

A Travelers Rest resident said he was in support of the sheriff, saying the county has seen a lower crime rate since Lewis took office. He did, however, say he was in favor of an audit being conducted for the agency.

"Let the justice system run its course," he said. "Let the investigation come out and then once the investigation comes out, move forward with further action at that time."

Several other Upstate residents took the podium to speak out in favor of the audit, including founder of Fighting Injustice Together, Bruce Wilson. Wilson called on the council to consider taking measures to encourage his resignation, including offering him a severance package or cutting Lewis' salary.

"When you have the governor asking you to resign... that should be enough to say that it is time to go," Wilson said. "But he has this county handcuffed."

Several residents also called for the creation of a citizens review board.

The council voted in favor of the forensic audit after the meeting.

"We have an obligation to protect taxpayer dollars," Dill said.

Below is the full official statement from Councilmen Joe Dill and Willis Meadows:

Below is the memo detailing the motion to call for the audit and what the audit will entail:

RELATED: Greenville Co. sheriff responds to sexual assault lawsuit: I had a consensual encounter

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