Officials react to Governor's decision to suspend Greenville Co. sheriff

Sheriff Lewis holds a news conference (FOX Carolina/ March 1, 2018)

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - Suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis appeared in court Friday morning, where he told the judge he wanted a jury trial and is acquiring a new lawyer.

Back in April 2018, Lewis was indicted by a grand jury on charges of misconduct in office and obstruction of justice. The indictments state Lewis "willfully and dishonestly failed to properly and faithfully discharge his duties as the Greenville County Sheriff through a series of improper acts" between January 2017 and February 2018. The indictments also charge Lewis with obstruction of justice between April 2017 and February 2018, as SLED investigated those allegations against him.

Lewis pushed back, pleading not guilty to those charges.

Savannah Nabors, a former assistant to Lewis, claimed she was hired and immediately faced sexual harassment from him. Lewis claims everything that happened was consensual. The civil lawsuit based on those allegations against Lewis was settled in October.

Lewis had been represented by the Fayssoux and Landis law firm. During Friday's hearing, it was announced that the firm was no longer representing him. The firm had been representing Lewis pro bono.

The prosecutor in Lewis' case called for the hearing because Lewis is currently without representation. The judge advised Lewis of his rights to an attorney and the dangers of representing himself if he does not retain a lawyer. 

Lewis stated during the hearing that he was in the process of retaining C. Rauch Wise of Greenwood as his attorney going forward.

Lewis said he would not accept a plea deal and requested a jury trial during the hearing. The judge advised Lewis that his trial would proceed in March, whether or not he had an attorney.

Gov. Henry McMaster suspended Lewis following the indictment and Johnny Mack Brown was named the interim sheriff.

Copyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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