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      Affair allegation surfaces against Darlington County sheriff

      Accusations of an illicit affair surfaced in a lawsuit against the Darlington County Sheriff this week.

      Former Darlington County Sheriff's Lieutenant Michael Hall filed a lawsuit on July 20th on grounds of wrongful termination, civil conspiracy and defamation.

      Hall says in the lawsuit that Sheriff Wayne Byrd fired him the night of the June 12 primary, accusing him of misusing computers, just hours after the sheriff won his bid for re-election.

      The lawsuit states Byrd was concerned during the campaign that emails indicating he was having an affair with a sheriff's office employee might become public and hurt his chances for re-election.

      The lawsuit then states Byrd devised a plan to accuse Hall of using the department computers to write false emails about the affair in order to hurt Byrd's chances for re-election.

      Hall says the statements about him misusing the department's computer hurt his reputation.

      The lawsuit was filed at the Darlington County Court of Common Pleas in the the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

      We left a message with Hall's attorney in Columbia for comment on the lawsuit, but he has yet to return our phone call.

      The Darlington County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson, Captain Andy Locklear, says Sheriff Byrd will not comment on pending litigation.