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      Arrests of SC sheriffs have colleagues worried

      By JEFFREY COLLINSAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - 5 of South Carolina's 46 sheriffs have faced criminal charges in the past three years, and their colleagues have noticed.

      Sheriffs across the state plan to meet in April in Columbia for additional training and talks about what they can do as powerful figures in their counties to stay on the right side of the law.

      Jeff Moore of the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association says the sheriffs hope to meet with the Corrections Department and get clarity on what is legal and what isn't with inmate labor. 3 of the charged sheriffs are accused of misusing inmate labor.

      As the most visible officials in their counties, sheriffs face much political pressure. And South Carolina sheriffs have considerable power. They often decide which cases are pursued, and they can fire deputies for any reason.

      Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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