Sheriff's texts under investigation

Greenwood authorities ask SLED to look into messages

The Greenwood Police Department has asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate text messages sent by and to Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain.

The Index-Journal reported today the investigation request was confirmed by SLED spokesman Thom Berry. The confirmation does not make clear what crime SLED is looking into. A woman exchanged at time sexually explicit text messages with Chastain from Oct. 2015 to April 2016. The messages came into the possession of news media in the Upstate.

Chastain was defeated in the June 14 Republican primary, seeking his 5th term as sheriff, by challenger Don Reynolds, a former State Trooper. Sheriff’s in Greenwood and Greenville counties also were defeated by GOP voters in run-offs Tuesday.

Reynolds will become the Sheriff in January 2017, unless a write-in or petition candidates defeats him in the General Election.

Chastain refused to directly address his relationship with the woman he exchanged texts with. Chastain and Reynolds never had a face-to-face public discussion about the issue, or any issues related to the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office. 

The messages Chastain and the woman exchanged were sent to news media in a 444-page PDF format by an anonymous source.

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