Brendan Shea Smith of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office pleaded guilty to misconduct in office on Thursday.
Smith was a Major and the Public Information Officer. Interestingly enough, Smith was third in command of the South Carolina agency.
Smith was in collaboration with Izzat Khalil, the leader of an illegal gambling operation. Over a five year period from June 2008 to December 2013 Smith leaked confidential police information to Khalil regarding police raids on illegal gambling sites, search warrants, and crime informant tips.
The information allowed Khalil to avoid getting caught. Khalil gave Smith cash payouts in exchange for the information.
It was not until the DEA and FBI got involved that Khalil’s operation came crashing down. Under pressure from the aforementioned federal agencies, Khalil sang like a canary.
In exchange for a reduced sentence plea deal, Khalil told authorities about corrupt law enforcement officials, including his transactions with Smith.
Judge Perry Gravely sentenced Smith to one year in jail suspended to nine months probation. Hence, if he violates the terms of his probation he could end up in prison for a year.
The judge also ordered Smith to pay a $1,000 fine and complete 60 hours of community service as part of his sentencing.
“Your honor, I’ve suffered every day since this happened,” Smith told the judge. “There’s no one to blame but myself, and I take responsibility for what happened.”
Smith was fired last year for misconduct regarding this case. Sgt. David Hays was also fired in connection with aiding the illegal gambling operation.
Hays was charged with two counts of misconduct in office, his charges are pending.
Smith’s attorney Hannah Rogers Metcalfe stated:
“As the public information officer for the sheriff’s department, Mr. Smith was the face of law enforcement in Greenville County. As a result of his termination and his arrest, he has been publicly humiliated as the media coverage of this incident has been extensive.”
Khalil pleaded guilty to running illegal gambling operations and was sentenced to one year in federal prison and was ordered to pay $194,522 in gambling restitution.