South Carolina

Quotable: Reaction to Metts indictment

“This has been rumored for some time. I’m not surprised at an indictment. I’m disappointed that this happened. Jimmy Metts is someone I’ve known since his election in 1972. He was the youngest sheriff elected at the time. ... I think (residents) were generally pleased with the law enforcement in the county.”

– State Sen. John Courson, R-Richland, who also represents part of Lexington County

“It’s a shock. I had no idea that that could be part of his conduct.”

– Smokey Davis, former county councilman

“It’s certainly a sad set of circumstances not only for the longest-serving sheriff in the state of South Carolina but also for the community as a whole.”

– Beth Carrigg, Lexington County clerk of court

“He was someone I really looked up to. It’s also a sad day for Lexington County, that’s for sure.”

– Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall

“It's a disappointment that our sheriff has been involved in this. But if you break the law, you have to pay the price. We will have to wait and see what happens. ...You can't tolerate corruption. If it’s true, we have to deal with it, and we have to move on.”

– State Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington

“The jury is still out. I still believe the sheriff to be an honorable man.”

– Joe Owens, West Columbia mayor who has known Metts for years

“I am honored that the governor has entrusted me with this responsibility and I look forward to resuming my relationship with the fine staff and 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 No. 1 priority is maintaining integrity and public confidence in this department.”

Interim Sheriff A. Lewis McCarty, who before retiring served as Metts’ second-in-command

“It’s a sad day for Lexington. He had a stellar career. I wish the new appointee all the best and the people of Lexington are going to be served well, I’m sure.”

–State Rep. Todd Atwater, R-Lexington

“Jimmy has done a lot of good, for Lexington County and for the state. ... I don't know if the allegations are true, but I don't think people should judge him too early.”

–Jeff Moore, longtime executive director of the S.C. Sheriffs’ Association

“He’s been in there all those years and did a fair amount of good for the county. But I am of the opinion that anyone in office that long has a tendency to get arrogant.”

–David Williams, Batesburg-Leesville resident