COLUMBIA — Gov. Nikki Haley appointed a 20-year police veteran and former security official with Boeing in northern Virginia on Tuesday as the new sheriff in Saluda County.
Haley’s executive order filled the vacancy created last week when Jason Booth was indicted by a state grand jury and resigned.
In an executive order, Haley chose Luther Harris Nossett Jr., who is retired and living in Batesburg-Leesville, to the post.
The 60-year-old Nossett said he was sworn in early Tuesday.
“I’m very happy to serve the community,” said the married father of three and grandfather of seven. Nossett said he was drawn to South Carolina by the chance to boat and fish on Lake Murray.
He said he believes his volunteer work brought him to Haley’s attention.
“I didn’t seek it, but I was pleased to accept the post,” Nossett said.
Booth resigned after a state grand jury indicted him Thursday on one charge of misconduct in office.
Booth was charged with using an inmate to work on his private property. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine if he is convicted.
A resume released by Haley’s office said Nossett has been certified as a reserve deputy by the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and has done volunteer work in the Saluda Sheriff’s office.
In his resume, Nossett said he was a program manager with Boeing in Chantilly, Va., from 1993 to 2009.
He also said he served from 1974 to 1993 with the Fairfax County Police Department in Fairfax, Va., rising from a patrol officer to major.
Nossett said he has a master’s in business administration from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s in justice administration from American University.
Saluda County, located about 45 miles west of Columbia, listed 19,875 residents in the 2010 U.S. Census.
Last week, Haley’s spokesman Rob Godfrey called the situation involving Booth “an unfortunate situation.”
According to prosecutor Strom Thurmond Jr., Booth used an inmate “to assist in building, constructing and working on Sheriff Booth’s private property in Saluda county.”
It said the activity occurred between Jan. 1, 2006, and Oct. 28, 2011.
“The use of this inmate for Sheriff Booth’s personal gain breached his duties to the public of good faith, honesty, and accountability,” Thurmond’s statement said.