COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) -- South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed an Executive Order suspending James Metts from his long-held position as Lexington County Sheriff late Tuesday afternoon.
Executive Order 2014-29, citing SC's Constitution: Article VI, Section 8, which provides that "any officer of the Sate or its political subdivisions...who has been indicted by a grand jury for a crime involving moral turpitude...may be suspended by the Governor until he shall have been acquitted."
The Governor has officially suspended James "Jimmy" R. Metts from the office of Lexington County Sheriff "until such time as he shall be formally acquitted or convicted."
Included in the Governor's Executive Order is the immediate filling of the vacancy, appointing Alfred "Lewis" McCarty as Sheriff of Lexington County until "the suspended sheriff is acquitted, or the indictment is otherwise disposed of, or until a sheriff is elected and qualifies int he next general election for county sheriffs."
Alfred "Lewis" McCarty is a South Carolina native, born in Columbia in 1941, who attended Brookland Cayce High in West Columbia, went on to Palmer College (that school merged in 1973 with 2 other schools to become Midlands Tech,) graduating with an Associates in Marketing Degree in 1964.
McCarty began his law enforcement career in 1964, becoming a foot patrolman with the West Columbia Police Department in 1964. That same year McCarty enlisted in the South Carolina National Guard, remaining with the Guard until the spring of 1971.
He resigned from the police department at the rank of Lieutenant on Dec. 26 of 1972, for an appointment as Assistant Sheriff of Lexington County, on January 1st of 1973. His appointment led him to serve under James Metts for the duration of his career with the LCSD.
During McCarty's time with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, he attended the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, graduating from there in 1979.
After spending 37 years in Law Enforcement, McCarty retired in 1999, and has spent time at his Lexington home with his wife Gayle, along with his children and grandchildren.
Late Tuesday afternoon, newly appointed Lexington Sheriff McCarty posted this statement to the Sheriff Department's Facebook Page:
Sheriff A. Lewis McCarty appointed Lexington County Sheriff
Effective today, Tuesday, June 17, 2014, I have been appointed by Governor Nikki Haley to serve as Sheriff of Lexington County. I am honored that the Governor has entrusted me with this responsibility and I look forward to resuming my relationship with the fine Staff & Officers of this Department and continuing our positive alliances with other Agencies and their Staff.
We have great people employed here and we will maintain the highest professional standards this Department has been associated with in the past. I look forward to working with each and every one of you. My number one priority is maintaining integrity and public confidence in this Department
Sheriff A. Lewis McCarty
Sheriff – Lexington County