Sheriff Sam Parker in Chesterfield County denied charges outlined Wednesday in an indictment that also alleged chosen inmates had unsupervised visits with women.
Parker's attorney, Johnny Gasser, says the sheriff got tripped up by confusing regulations but did nothing criminal.
Parker is charged with four counts of misconduct in office and two counts of furnishing contraband to inmates. Each charge is a misdemeanor, carrying a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
Parker is the fourth South Carolina sheriff in less than three years to face criminal charges. Three of them were accused of misusing state inmates.