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Isa Greene: I Was on Vacation During Initial Tom Sponseller Investigation

5:07 PM, Apr 17, 2012   |    comments
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Isa Greene

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Former Columbia Police Department Deputy Chief Isa Greene told the media Tuesday the reasons she believes she was fired from her position early last month.

Greene called a news conference around 11 a.m. to outline her case of why she was unjustly terminated.

"I have done nothing wrong, I have nothing to hide, and I think the citizens of Columbia deserve to know the truth about the whole situation," said Greene.

On March 1, Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott announced that he'd fired Greene after an internal investigation on the handling of the Tom Sponseller disappearance case. Scott also accepted the retirement of another senior officer.

Sponseller was the South Carolina Hospitality Association CEO who killed himself in a parking garage connected to his office building.

Sponseller's family reported him missing on February 18--the day he's believe to have died--but his body wasn't found until 10 days later. 

Greene said she was on vacation on February 18, and did not return to work until two days later--meaning she wasn't working during the first 48 hours of the investigation, often the most crucial time frame of a case.

She also said her supervisor was present during those first two days and was the one who searched Sponseller's desk, but did not find the suicide note left behind.

Had she been there, Greene says it would have been different.

"Everything would have been thoroughly searched, every door would have been forced open, end gotten into and checked," said Greene. "The desk that's a given, that's a rookie thing, that's basic, that should have been done."

However, late Tuesday, Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott issued a statement countering Greene's assertion. He said that Greene was approved for leave between Tuesday, February 14 through Friday, February 17.

Scott says a Metro Region officer and the Investigations Division Captain--who both report directly to Greene--were in charge of searching on the 18th and 19th.

Scott also says that he asked Greene whether the building and parking lot had been thoroughly searched. Scott says she told him it had. Further, Scott says he directed her two more times to search the building, the parking garage, and the elevator shaft. He says every time, Greene told him the searches had been done.  

Greene claims she does not trust the police department and claims she was fired for having information the department didn't want exposed.  Greene also says she did not receive equal pay raises in line with the pay scale system.  She believes her complaints also contributed to her having to take the blame in the Sponseller case.

Her grievance hearing was postponed last week after city officials said they did not want reporters to bring their cameras into the meeting.

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