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.
Cops ask AG about crash, meeting canceled - Thursday 1:16:40 PMSouth Carolina's top prosecutor has been asked to weigh in on the investigation of a wreck involving the mayor-elect of Columbia.
Council to hold meeting about Benjamin crash - Wednesday, May 6, 2010Councilwoman Belinda Gergel says an outside law enforcement agency should investigate the wreck involving the mayor-elect.
Benjamin speaks to police about crash - Monday, May 03, 2010 A spokesman confirmed Benjamin spoke with investigators, but wouldn't comment on the specifics citing the ongoing police investigation.City releases 911 calls from Benjamin crash - Friday, April 30, 2010In one of the calls, one woman describes the crash saying that one of the vehicles did not have their headlights on.Benjamin to speak with police on crash - Friday, April 30, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.Mayor-elect Steve Benjamin is set to speak with police about a wreck that sent a Columbia woman to the hospital. Rubens making improvements without insurance - Yesterday at 4/29/2010 8:55:00 PMThe woman injured in a wreck involving Columbia's Mayor-Elect Steve Benjamin remains in a coma but is making small improvements. Meanwhile, someone she never met is working to set up a trust fund to help cover medical bills. Benjamin's SUV had auto headlight setting - Monday, April 26, 2010WACH FOX News has confirmed that Columbia attorney Steve Benjamin was driving a 2008 Mercedes R350 during the collision on April 21. We looked into that model's features. POLL - Benjamin headlights - Monday, April 26, 2010Do you think the car in surveillance video seen First on Fox had its headlights on? First On Fox: Video may show Benjamin's SUV - Friday, April 23, 2010 Surveillance video shows a dark Mercedes SUV matching Mayor-Elect Steve Benjamin's vehicle turning onto Gervais Street moments before Wednesday's crash.RAW VIDEO - Press conference updating Benjamin crash - Friday, April 23, 2010 POLL - Investigation into Benjamin crash - Friday, April 23, 2010Do you think Columbia Police can be impartial investigating Mayor-Elect Steve Benjamin's car crash? Police to update on Benjamin crash - Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 2:56 p.mColumbia Police will hold a press conference regarding the crash that happened Wednesday when Mayor-Elect Steve Benjamin's SUV collided with a woman's car on his way to interviews after winning the city's run-off election. POLL - Mayor-elect car crash - Thursday 4/22/2010 2:03:32 p.m.Do you think Steve Benjamin's car crash will impact his ability to serve effectively as Columbia's mayor? Investigators: Benjamin not impaired after crash - Wednesday, April 21, 2010Mayor-elect Steve Benjamin was involved in a car crash early Wednesday morning that sent one woman to the hospital. WACH Fox News talks to a witness who describes the incident. Columbia voters elect new mayor - Wednesday, April 21, 2010Attorney and businessman Steve Benjamin is Columbia's new mayor-elect. Benjamin to serve as Columbia's next mayor - Tuesday, April 20, 2010Steve Benjamin grabbed over 55 percent of voters' approval in Tuesday's run-off. That compares to opponent Kirkman Finlay's 44 percent.