As you know by now, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has hired former City of Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott as an investigator in his department. Lott gave Scott his first job in law enforcement here in the Midlands some years ago and says he feels somewhat responsible for the incident that Scott says led to him suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I have absolutely no doubt that Scott suffers from PTSD, I expect many of our police and emergency personnel suffer from it. I do still have questions about the timing of the announcement. After city management said Scott could be facing disciplinary action he abruptly took a leave of abscence. When he resigned from the job last month he divulged that during that time he saw a counselor and was given the diagnosis.
Lawsuits, threats of lawsuits, threat of discipline for still unknown reasons, residents of the city deserve some answers from those in charge. And then there is the $52,000 question.
Under law that has since changed, Scott and others were allowed to "retire", wait 15 days and then be rehired in the same job at the same salary. That loophole that allowed Scott and others to start collecting full retirement benefits while working closed on January 2nd of this year.
In Scott's case he wasn't actually eligible for this "perk".
He hadn't accrued enough time in the system, not until the then City Manager okayed the use of city money to purchase $52,000 in credits from the state retirement system to allow the Chief to double dip.
I have no issue with Lott's hiring of Scott. Lott is a stand-up guy trying to do the right thing and Scott is a good law enforcement officer who brings a lot to the table. He just to needs to put a few things back on the table, 52,000 of them to be exact.