Former crime lab employee suing City of Columbia for $3 million

Former crime lab employee suing City of Columbia for $3 million

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A former employee of the Columbia Police Department crime lab is suing the city for $3 million.

In the suit, Brenda Toomer-Frazier says she has suffered a loss of employment opportunities, mental anguish, loss of sleep, humiliation, injury to her professional name and public ridicule. The suit also claims discrimination, retaliation and gross negligence.

Frazier resigned as a crime analyst in August after an audit of the department's lab operations raised questions about inconsistencies and the quality of work performed there.Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook asked the Richland County Sheriff's Department to perform the audit.

Frazier claims she was told by Holbrook to resign or be fired.

The suit claims Frazier was not allowed to select her own peer review teams, although white employees before her could select their own peer review teams.

According to court documents, the suit alleges Frazier was denied necessary SLED training that was given to drug chemists who were white. Frazier also accuses the city of denying her benefits that were normally given to white drug chemists, including police officer status, vehicle and cell phone prior to January 14 and altered her status so that she was removed from the State Police Retirement System and denied the staff for the workload in the lab.

Frazier also claims she was not given the staff or equipment to do her job. The suit also claims she was forced to resign instead of her white supervisors.

The suit says Frazier was hired in 2011 as a forensic drug chemist and a status of Class III Police Officer. But in March 2013, City officials told her she did not need the Class III Police Officer status.

WIS has attempted to contact Frazier's attorney, the City of Columbia and Columbia Police Department regarding the suit. So far, none of them have returned our calls.

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