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Lexington, SC (WLTX) - An interim sheriff is in place for Lexington County, and is promising "unparalleled law enforcement" in the wake of the indictment of James Metts.

Lewis McCarty took the oath of office at a ceremony Wednesday night at the county judicial center in Lexington.

The 72-year-old was appointed Tuesday by Governor Nikki Haley after she suspended Metts following his indictment on federal charges of taking bribes. Previous Coverage: Sheriff Metts Indicted, New Sheriff Appointed | Haley Calls Up Retired Officer to Be Sheriff | Ex-South Congaree Police Chief Indicted

"As you can imagine, a number of very important decisions need to be made, and a number of difficult tasks need to be completed in order to ensure that the excellent service that has become the hallmark of the Lexington County Sheriff's Department goes uninterrupted," he said in a statement Wednesday. "At this time, my staff and I will need to focus on the most important mission we have which is providing a level of unparalleled law enforcement services that the citizens of Lexington County deserve."

He said he does not have any interest in taking on the job permanently if it becomes available.

McCarty had a 37-year career in law enforcement before retiring in 1999. McCarty, a Midlands native, worked under Metts for over 26 years with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department.

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