Berkeley Co. GOP jumps to defense of sheriff candidate's graduation record

VIDEO: County GOP jumps to sheriff's candidate's defense over graduation record
Lewis' diploma from Goose Creek High School indicates he graduated on June 1, 1983. (Photo Source: Berkeley Co. GOP)
Lewis' diploma from Goose Creek High School indicates he graduated on June 1, 1983. (Photo Source: Berkeley Co. GOP)

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Republican Party chairman addressed concerns about Berkeley County sheriff's candidate Duane Lewis by releasing Lewis' high school diploma.

"I am providing this information not simply to defend Mr. Lewis' integrity but also and more appropriately to prove that this batch of sore losers has zero regard for the truth," Callanan said in a statement.

Lewis has come under scrutiny concerning how truthfully he filled out campaign documents.  Those discrepancies led to one group forming a campaign to write-in former candidate Brian Adams. Even with the picture of the diploma, some in the Facebook group Concerned Voters of Berkeley County still aren't satisfied.  They say when it comes to transparency, even small details are a big deal.

For instance, the diploma provided by the GOP states Lewis graduated on June 1, 1983.  But on his official filing affidavit, Lewis lists his graduation date as May 30, 1983, a detail not lost on Berkeley County Republican, and Lewis critic, Ralph Rohrssen.

"That's Memorial Day," Rohrssen said. "I knew when I looked at that I said, 'Wait a minute. No high school graduates on 30 May.' That's why we started the issue with the diploma. If he'd have said 1 June we wouldn't have looked any further."

Lewis' own campaign literature touted him as being "the only candidate with a college degree"...but his degree from Western State University has also been questioned. The school was shut down after an investigation that it offered degrees in exchange for money without having to take classes.

We did try to independently verify when and if Lewis graduated high school. However, because of federal privacy laws, neither the Berkeley County School District nor the state of South Carolina could provide that information without Lewis' written consent.

Lewis faces Democratic challenger Anthony Smalls in the June 9 election.

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