City of Columbia, S.C. police chief Randy Scott – who is already facing a high-visibility lawsuit filed by a former investigator – is a defendant in two separate suits filed by city police officers. Also named in the lawsuits? Ruben Santiago, the officer tapped as Scott’s interim replacement.
FITS has obtained copies of the lawsuits – which allege discrimination, wrongful termination and harassment in the case of two Columbia police officers, both of whom appear to have been falsely accused of wrongdoing.
In one lawsuit, Scott’s interim replacement – acting chief Ruben Santiago – is accused of targeting officer Andre Williams for “double-dipping” as a funeral procession escort.
“It’s a privilege that I can arbitrarily give or take away and I don’t have to provide a reason,” Santiago is said to have told Williams of his funeral escort activities.
The lawsuit also accuses Santiago of destroying a report which exonerated Williams for his activities – which the pleading claims are “common permissive practice” for city cops.
Williams’ lawsuit also alleges “continuous” harassement and the “capricious” denial of promotions and privileges.
In the other complaint, Williams’ wife Shannon alleges she was similarly harassed and passed over for promotion despite exemplary evaluations – including one in which she was ranked as the highest-scoring woman in the department.
City officials were not immediately available for comment regarding the lawsuits.
Scott is currently on an indefinite leave of absence due to undisclosed offenses. Sources tell FITS this leave is about to become permanent, however – and Scott has been accused of some pretty galling behavior.
In addition to these lawsuits, Scott’s department is also being sued by the investigator he fired in the wake of a colossally botched disappearance-turned-suicide last year.
ANDRE J. WILLIAMS v. CITY OF COLUMBIA, et. al. (.pdf)
SHANNON WILLIAMS v. CITY OF COLUMBIA, et. al. (.pdf)