Sheriff should take a leave of absence
Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis stepped in front of the microphones Thursday to defend himself against charges in a lawsuit brought by a former employee of the Sheriff’s Office, Savannah Nabors. According to Nabors, Lewis drugged her and sexually assaulted her.…
Lewis, who is married, maintained he is innocent of all allegations in Nabors’ lawsuit. His only sin, he says, was having an affair with Nabors.
When the dust from this situation settles, Lewis’s statements may prove to be true. After all, anyone can file a lawsuit. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is conducting its own investigation into the accusations, and Lewis has not been criminally charged.
But the sheriff — who is an elected official — now faces a huge credibility problem. And as the county’s chief law enforcement official he needs to step down until SLED concludes its probe into his conduct.
In his remarks Thursday, Lewis said he didn’t want the allegations against him to cast a shadow on the good work his deputies are doing. Having a sitting sheriff who is under investigation not only undermines his authority with deputies and other sheriff department employees, it also undermines his ability to execute his duties due to the distraction of such serious allegations.
And long term, such allegations could hurt the county’s victim’s advocacy work. Victims of crimes, particularly sexual assault crimes, may not feel their allegations will be taken seriously because the sheriff was accused of inappropriate behavior. On the flip side, if Lewis is innocent of the charges in the lawsuit, his attorney is right to advise him to stay on the job. Resigning, said one legal expert The Greenville News talked to, could imply guilt.
Lewis’s guilt or innocence remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Workplace affairs are seldom a good idea. Lewis has admitted to having one with a subordinate. His affair and the circumstances surrounding it could end up costing taxpayers in legal fees and a settlement. That shows extremely poor judgment on his part.
Since the Greenville County Council has no authority over the sheriff, Lewis needs to do what’s in the best interest of county residents: step aside until the SLED investigation concludes.
Safe disposal of prescription drugs
Prescription opioid overdoses were involved in the deaths of 550 South Carolinians in 2016, underscoring the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
As much as the opioid crisis is born of myriad factors, combating the misuse of prescription drugs by curtailing prescription lengths and drug quantities is a priority in reducing the number of affected people. …
There are vast quantities of prescription medications in medicine cabinets, too many of which are outdated.
Every day, prescription drugs are taken by a friend or family – or stolen in break-ins. Every day, people are using prescription drugs that are found in dumpsters and trash cans.…
Held twice a year, Take Back Day as a national observance aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs, while educating the public about the potential for abuse of medication.
“Medicines that just sit in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse,” said Shelly Kelly, DHEC’s director of health regulations. “Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained — often unknowingly — from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.”
The take-back programs help reduce childhood overdoses, restrict household drug theft, limit the accumulation of drugs by the elderly, protect our physical environment, reduce pharmaceutical contamination of fresh water and eliminate waste.