Deputy who arrested Shai Werts resigns from Saluda County

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Blakeley Bartee and Elijah Jackson

SALUDA COUNTY, S.C. ⁠— The deputy who arrested Georgia Southern University quarterback Shai Werts resigned from his job at the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 20.

Charles Browder’s resignation came before an investigative report by Liz Owens at WRDW was published. According to the article, Browder was found guilty of conduct unbecoming at his previous job at the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, but was allowed to keep his certification and get a job at the Saluda County Sheriff’s Department because he resigned in lieu of termination.

Browder’s conduct documented by Lexington County includes sending a shirtless picture of himself to a minor and asking the child to secretly meet with him, having a sexual relationship with a woman on duty and saying, “You want a divorce so [expletive] bad, why don’t you make something happen?” to a suicidal woman involved in an alleged domestic situation, according to WRDW.

Saluda County did not fire Browder after learning about the findings of Lexington County’s investigation, according to WRDW.

Browder pulled over Werts on July 31, 2019 for speeding and arrested him on a drug possession charge after using a test kit on a white substance on Werts’s car and saying it tested positive for cocaine.

However, the charge was dropped by the Saluda County, South Carolina Solicitors Office after further testing showed the substance was not cocaine.

The George-Anne has requested comment from Chief Deputy Toby Horne at the Saluda County Sheriff’s Office.

On Werts’s behalf, Associate Athletics Director Bryan Johnston declined to comment, stating in an email, “Shai has said multiple times that he does not wish to comment on this matter any further.”

Blakeley Bartee and Elijah Jackson, The George-Anne Editor-in-Chief and Sports Editor,

Amanda Arnold contributed to this report.