BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Gov. Nikki Haley appointed a new sheriff in Berkeley County Wednesday who will serve until voters elect a permanent replacement.
Haley appointed C.W. "Butch" Henerey, of Moncks Corner as sheriff.
The appointment came a day after Haley, during an appearance at a jobs announcement on Daniel Island, said that by Wednesday afternoon, Berkeley County would have a new sheriff.
In a statement released after Haley's announcement, Henerey said he was honored and humbled to be appointed and said he would work hard with county council to make sure the budget allows the department to do their job effectively. He also said he would make sure the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office will make a smooth transition when a permanent sheriff is elected.
Henerey will serve until a special election permanently fills the vacancy left behind in the wake of former Sheriff Wayne DeWitt's resignation on Feb. 4.
The primary election for the Berkeley County Sheriff's race is set for April 21. A primary runoff, if necessary, will narrow the field of candidates on Tuesday, May 5.
Voters will then select their choice to fill the seat on Tuesday, June 9.
Filing for the office will begin at noon on Friday and close at noon on Monday, March 2.
Berkeley County Sheriff's Capt. Rick Ollic served as acting sheriff until a new sheriff was either elected or until an interim sheriff was appointed.
Berkeley County lawmakers asked Haley to appoint retired SLED agent Calvitt "Chab" Clarke to run the office in the interim. Sen. Larry Grooms said he and the four other senators who represent Berkeley County submitted Clarke's name to the Governor's Office on Feb. 5, the day after DeWitt resigned.
DeWitt's resigned amid criticism and protests stemming from a Dec. 28 arrest following an accident in which authorities say DeWitt struck another vehicle in his county pickup truck, causing $7,000 in damage, then sped off, reaching speeds of more than 100 mph. DeWitt reportedly ignored a red light and nearly lost control of his vehicle during a subsequent pursuit, authorities say.
On Feb. 10, Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson said a Berkeley County Grand Jury indicted DeWitt on charges of driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and failure to stop for blue lights.
DeWitt was first elected sheriff in 1994.