CPD announces personnel shake-up following Sponseller case

Published: Mar. 1, 2012 at 10:49 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 18, 2013 at 7:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Two Columbia Police Department officials are no longer employed with the department following what Chief Randy Scott referred to as "mishandling and failures" in relation to the missing persons investigation of Tom Sponseller.

Chief Scott says the Deputy Chief of Administration/Investigations has been terminated and the Captain of Investigations has retired.

While CPD did not reveal the names of those fired citing a personnel matter, sources indicate Isa P. Greene and JP Smith are no longer with the department.

Greene had been with the department for 31 years.

"In this situation, I have reviewed the actions of others and have determined that it is in the best interest of the department and the City to take these personnel actions to keep us moving forward in a positive direction," said Scott in a press release.

Scott and police have been fending off criticism from people who say the department wasn't effective in locating Sponseller's body and a supposed suicide note.

Sponseller was missing for 10 days before CPD officers found his body in the same parking garage where his car was last parked.

Mayor Steve Benjamin released a statement supporting Scott's actions.

"Public trust in the Police Department must be maintained. Chief Scott has worked hard to that effect building significant and deserved goodwill throughout the community, and we cannot allow it to be squandered by the actions of a few," said Benjamin.

Meanwhile, Chief Scott says he'll continue an internal probe into the way the search for Sponseller was conducted.

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