Defamation suit against Aiken County Sheriff's Office dismissed



A lawsuit brought by former Aiken County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jeffrey Nation against his ex-employer has been dismissed.

A settlement, in which no money is changing hands, was reached Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina Aiken Division. Each party agreed to pay its own costs and expenses.

Nation’s lawsuit, which claimed the sheriff’s office ruined his career and reputation, stemmed from his dismissal in the fall of 2008. Nation was fired after he was captured on video stopping several men in New Ellenton and demanding identification. The video showed Nation arguing with Lorenzo Williams about his sagging pants. Nation then appeared to hit Williams in the throat and try to head-butt him.

After the incident, Sheriff Michael Hunt requested an investigation, and the S.C. Law Enforcement Division charged Nation with assault and battery and misconduct in office.

Charges against Williams were dropped, and the sheriff apologized to Williams and his family.

Nation was ultimately acquitted of assault and battery, and in 2010 he sued the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Michael Hunt, and others, including a SLED agent.

In his initial lawsuit, Nation had said “maltreatment” from the sheriff’s office caused him “intense distress, public humiliation and embarrassment, severe loss of income and earning capacity and other damages past, present and future.” He had also argued the sheriff’s office portrayed him as a racist through comments officers made to the local news media.

On Wednesday, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office maintained that it had properly handled Nation’s confrontation with Williams, and that the office never sought a settlement.

“After lengthy discussion, Mr. Nation and his attorney William Davis, Jr. Esq. agreed and signed documents voluntarily dismissing the suit against all sheriffs office personnel, thus ending this law suit,” said the county sheriff’s office in a statement Wednesday.



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