GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Suspended Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis was sentenced Friday to one year in prison after a jury found him guilty of one count of statutory misconduct of a public officer Thursday.
Shortly after Lewis’ sentencing, Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order declaring the office of Greenville County sheriff vacant, and said that interim Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown will serve as sheriff “until a special election is held to elect a sheriff to hold the office until a sheriff is elected and qualifies in the next general election for county sheriffs.”
Following his sentence, Savanah Nabors, Solicitor Kevin Brackett and Will Lewis’ attorney, Rauch Wise, spoke to members of the media.
“It’s not about the time, it’s about the fact that he’ll never be in a position of power to do this again,” said Nabors.
“I hope that this sets the example that you can’t just wear a gun and badge and do whatever you want to do with it,” Nabors saying she will find a way to forgive Lewis. “I can’t get back what he stole from me, but we sure can move forward.”
Will Lewis’ wife, who sat beside him during the entire trial and even spoke at his sentencing Friday, gave a brief statement after he was sentenced to one year in prison.
“He has loved our family, he has loved our children he’s been a great role model. People wonder why, how does our unit stay? It’s because it was built on a rock.”
She spoke briefly outside of court as well.
“Of course I’m disappointed with the outcome of the case but I believe I spoke clearly in the courtroom and that is all I have to say.”
The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office issued the following statement following the conclusion of Will Lewis’ trial:
“The men and women of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office remain committed to serving the citizens of our county with the utmost integrity and professionalism. And Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown commends all of the deputies and civilian employees for their unwavering commitment to the community over the past couple of years.”
The jury found Lewis not guilty of misconduct in office. Their decision came after nearly five hours of deliberation Thursday on the fourth day of the trial.
Lewis’ attorney Rauch Wise speaking following sentencing as well.
“There’s a lot more good in that man’s life than those 5 or 6 months of bad,” said Wise.
Solicitor Kevin Brackett says he and his team did what they came to town to do.
“To leave Greenville in the rear view mirror knowing that Will Lewis was never going to step into the office of sheriff again,” said Brackett.
Hailing Nabors a hero for bringing these charges to light.
“Savanah Nabors is owed a debt of gratitude. She should be thanked for what she did,” said Brackett.
Lewis was accused of misusing his position and County resources to pursue an affair with his former assistant, Savannah Nabors.
Nabors says she hopes what she’s done can give courage to others who may be in her position.
“You are strong, you are worthy, you are believed, what you have is enough. And speak now,” said Nabors.