Former deputy claims slander, ‘slave labor’ in lawsuit against SC sheriff’s office

Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks and Undersheriff Rob Lee (source: chesterfieldsheriff.org)
Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks and Undersheriff Rob Lee (source: chesterfieldsheriff.org)

CHESTERFIELD, S.C. (WBTW) – A former Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was charged with misconduct in office is suing the sheriff’s office, the sheriff and three other people.

Former deputy David Rainwater filed the lawsuit on Oct. 17. He named Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks and Undersheriff Rob Lee in the lawsuit. A John Doe and Jane Doe are also being sued in the lawsuit.

Rainwater pleaded guilty to misconduct in office in June, according to public court records. The records state his sentence as “6 months suspended on $250 fine and 6 months probation. Probation may terminate upon payment.”

Rainwater was arrested in December 2015 after a SLED investigation that alleged he had paid for sexual acts from a woman while he was on duty from Dec. 1, 2014 – Aug. 25, 2015. Rainwater was terminated after SLED reported results of the investigation.

Rainwater is suing for slander, wrongful discharge, unpaid wages, civil conspiracy, and false imprisonment.

The following are some of the claims Rainwater makes in his lawsuit:

  • Acting sheriff Rob Lee continued the “slave labor” actions of former sheriff Sanford Marion Parker, Jr., who was indicted for the same actions.
  • Lee continually and regularly maintained illicit affairs
  • Lee is antagonistic toward minorities
  • Lee and Brooks were both aware of misconduct by different members of the CCSO but did nothing about it
  • Lee and Brooks worked together to trade favors in order to rig the sheriff’s election for Brooks. Lee allowed Brooks to assume the “acting” sheriff role after the primary to give the public appearance that the sheriff’s election was complete and to ultimately determine the outcome for November’s election.
  • Sheriff Brooks maintains a full liquor cabinet and provides drinks to employees who are on and off the clock. Rainwater’s lawsuit claims he had pictures of the cabinet and parties with office personnel, but his camera was confiscated and never returned.
  • Sheriff Brooks has CCSO employees perform manual labor at his personal property
  • Sheriff Brooks maintains that because Lee was appointed to the acting sheriff position by Gov. Haley, his illicit activities with SLED and county employees would not be investigated.

Rainwater wants actual, consequential, and punitive damages. Attorneys M. W. Cockrell and Sarah Campbell are representing Rainwater.

News13 has requested a response from Sheriff Brooks, but has not gotten a response as of early Wednesday afternoon.

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