69 / 51
      70 / 48
      59 / 50

      Police chief issues statement in wake of firings

      Columbia, (WACH) - A day after two senior investigators were dismissed from the Columbia Police Department, Chief Randy Scott issued a statement reassuring residents of his confidence in the force.

      The changes were made in the wake of the investigation into missing Columbia lobbyist Tom Sponseller.

      Sponseller disappeared February 18th; it took investigators 10 days to discover his body in a locked closet in the basement of his Lady Street office building.

      Read more Police: Two high-ranking officers off force after Sponseller probe Police launch internal investigation into Sponseller search Financial official at SC Hospitality Association no longer employed

      Police combed the office building three times during that span, but found nothing.

      "These were fundamental steps that even my neighbors and lay people agree should have been attended to and were not," said Columbia attorney Joe McCulloch. "There were consequences for the people in charge of this investigation as well there should be."

      Richland County Coroner Gary Watts confirmed Sponseller had died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound shortly after he was reported missing.

      â??The goals and objectives expressed more than a year ago remain the same today,â?? said Scott in the statement.

      Scott says his administration identified several areas where changes need to be made in order for the department to continue functioning at a high level.

      "The chief has taken very decisive action to make corrections," adds McCulloch. "I think the department is going to be on a new course here, I hope the family now has some piece."