Union, SC (FOX Carolina) - Suspended Union County Sheriff David Taylor had his first day in court on Tuesday after the South Carolina Attorney General's office announced indictments against the longtime lawman.

The AG said Taylor has been charged with one count of misconduct in office and one count of disseminating obscene material. 

The indictment alleges that Sheriff Taylor sent messages to a Union County citizen that were lewd and inappropriate and included an obscene photo. 

The misconduct offense is a common law misdemeanor. It carries a possible sentence of up to ten years in prison. The obscenity violation is a statutory felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of no less than $10,000. 

An arraignment was held on Tuesday, July 14 at 11 a.m. at the Union County Courthouse where Taylor was served with the indictment and granted a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. 

The judge ordered Taylor to not have contact with the victim, and report for processing at the Union County jail immediately following the hearing. 

This case is being investigated by the State Law Enforcement Division and will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

On July 9, South Carolina governor Henry McMaster issued an executive order suspending Taylor from office. Taylor will remain suspended unless he is acquitted or the indictment is otherwise disposed of. Taylor would effectively lose his office outright if convicted or if another sheriff is elected and qualifies in the upcoming November election.

With Taylor's suspension, McMaster appointed Sam White as sheriff in the interim. White formerly served as the chief of police in the city of Union. White was sworn in during a ceremony Thursday evening with family present.

Taylor was originally investigated by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division that concluded in February, but charges were not brought then. That investigation was launched in 2018 after he reportedly asked SLED to look into finances at UCSO. That report was eventually made public, which detailed allegations of "possible misconduct" by Taylor. Those allegations included missing money, alcohol purchases, and inappropriate text messages sent to deputies. In September 2019, solicitor Scarlett Wilson said while she didn't recommend charges against him, she said the investigation “revealed several flaws in the management of the Union County Sheriff’s Office”.

The new SLED investigation, which brought charges against Taylor, was launched after Taylor doubled back on an election announcement. After the initial investigation came to light, he refused to step down but vowed not to run for re-election. However, he then announced he would, in fact, run for re-election. That was when SLED opened the new investigation.

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(1) comment

Truthfinder

Finally David Taylor is going to be held accountable for some of his actions. It’s unfortunate that he has gotten away with things a regular citizen would have gotten hard time for. I really hope that cases against citizens while under the direction of David Taylor will be re-opened for review. Everyone is well aware of how he would add additional charges and or false charges against people ex-specially the poor, as well as people he had a personal vendetta against. Getting “Riff Raft” like David Taylor out of office is a step in the right direction for Union County. Maybe now when the citizens voice their concerns regarding an elected official maybe now their voice will be heard and not fall on deaf ears. Now, Mr.Taylor May regret how he treated the citizens, how he called them belittling names, how he made jokes about citizens whom were arrested, and much more. Now you have to walk the walk of shame. Remember no one is above the law. Eventually the truth always comes out and people have to pay for their actions towards others. You were supposed to be an official that the community could depend on to do the right thing, to help bring the community together. Instead you were a complete fake using your power of an elected official to benefit yourself and hurt others.

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