South Carolina

South Carolina bill seeks to ban felons from being sheriffs

COLUMBIA, S.C. — In a state where eight county sheriffs have been convicted of crimes in office over the past decade, South Carolina lawmakers want to tighten the qualifications to be a top law enforcement official.

[ALSO READ: Lawsuit claims former sheriff abused power]

The proposal would bar someone from running for sheriff in any of the state's 46 counties if the person has been convicted, pleaded guilty to, or been pardoned of a felony or "a crime of moral turpitude" in South Carolina or any other state.

[ALSO READ: Former courthouse clerk arrested on felony charges]

There was already a law in place to keep most felons from getting the sheriff's badge. Sheriffs must be certified law officers, and a felony conviction usually means the end of an officer's certification.

Supporters of the bill say it closes a loophole by including anyone pardoned of a felony.

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