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      Mayor requests special meeting on drug lab closure

      <font size="2">After the</font> <a href="http://www.wach.com/news/story.aspx?id=1087944#.VACEnPldWKw" target="_blank"> <font size="2">recent closing of the Columbia Police Departments Drug Laboratory</font> </a><font size="2">, Mayor Steve Benjamin is requesting for the public safety committee to meet as soon as possible.</font>

      COLUMBIA (WACH) - After the recent closing of the Columbia Police Departments Drug Laboratory, Mayor Steve Benjamin is requesting for the public safety committee to meet as soon as possible.

      In a letter obtained by WACH Fox News, Benjamin asked Councilman Brian DeQuincey Newman chairman of the public safety committee to convene a meeting in order to collect facts surrounding the lab's closure.

      "Council has not yet received a full briefing of the facts. As a result, a number of questions remain in our minds and in the minds of our constituents about the circumstances which led to this situation and the action being taken to resolve it. Those questions deserve to be answered," said Benjamin.

      One day after Police Chief Skip Holbrook shut the lab down chemist Brenda Frazier resigned from her position due to concerns of the cases she??s worked on while at the department.

      According to Holbrook, several inconsistencies and unclear lab practices by Fraizer were found after he asked the Richland County Sheriff's Department to perform an audit.

      In the letter the Mayor said he would like a detailed briefing delivered to council so they and the citizens of Columbia can understand how this happened, how it could have been prevented and what impact the closing can have the city and its citizens.

      "I do not expect it this task to be easy and I do not expect it to be comfortable. But it is necessary and I am confident that you and Public Safety Committee will exemplify our full commitment to public safety, justice and accountability," concludes Benjamin.

      Out of the 746 cases Frazier has been involved in, 188 will undergo review by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

      Chief Holbrook says Frazier has never done anything unethical or illegal; she just deviated from preferred methodologies.

      CPD is unsure when the lab will reopen.