Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts on Thursday suspended Danny Frazier without pay, pending the results of a SLED investigation into allegations that Frazier is involved in illegal video gambling.
Frazier works for the department as a part-time, civilian employee, serving as a community liaison. The sheriff, while not saying sweepstakes games are illegal, has asked the State Law Enforcement Division to probe Frazier’s alleged ties to the industry.
Meanwhile, Lexington town leaders plan to call Frazier, a town councilman, on the carpet during a closed-door meeting Friday.
Council members plan to meet with Frazier “to discuss all the noise floating around,” Mayor Randy Halfacre said Thursday.
“We need clarification,” Halfacre said. “We need to have a better understanding of what’s going on. We’ve got a lot of little brushfires that could become a firestorm.”
Frazier, who has said he was going on vacation this week, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
On Tuesday, Frazier admitted to an “error in judgment” without mentioning the Internet sweepstakes industry.
The council can’t discipline Frazier but could reprimand him or urge him to step down from the elected, at-large post he has held since 2005.
Halfacre is upset about the image emerging of Frazier’s alleged business ventures with online gambling.
The pair are close political allies.
“I’m disappointed in the events that have taken place,” Halfacre said. “I had no clue.”
In addition to his part-time job with the sheriff’s department, Frazier is a consultant for the city of West Columbia.