AG: City can make CPD hand over investigation

Police Chief Tandy Carter briefing the media on the investigation two weeks ago. Carter said there was no timeline in the investigation.

South Carolina's top prosecutor has weighed in on the investigation of a wreck involving the mayor-elect of Columbia.

Attorney General Henry McMaster's opinion concludes that Columbia City Council does have the authority to "direct the chief to turn over an investigation to another police agency."

Police Chief Tandy Carter had asked McMaster to issue the opinion.

The Columbia City Council had been scheduled to meet Friday to discuss whether an outside law enforcement agency should investigate the April 21, 2010 crash that occurred hours after Steve Benjamin was elected as the city's first black mayor. That meeting has been rescheduled for Monday at 1:30 p.m.

Carter sent a letter Friday afternoon to Director of the Department of Public Safety Mark Keel requesting the Highway Patrol review the Columbia Police Department's investigation after it's over.

Benjamin was unhurt in the early morning crash that happened on his way to television interviews. The other driver, hotel worker Deborah Rubens, has been in the hospital for two weeks recovering from brain injuries and broken bones.

Read the entire opinion from Attorney General Henry McMaster.

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