Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Citing personal issues, Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott announced he is resigning from office effective May 1st.
Scott made the decision public at an emotional news conference Monday afternoon.
At times stopping to wipe away tears, Scott described dealing with an issue that has affected him deeply in recent weeks. Scott said in his resigation that it was post-traumatic stress disorder. DOCUMENT: Chief Scott's Letter of Resignation
Scott had announced earlier this month that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence. At that time, he did not specify a reason why.
As he explained, Monday, though, he has been affected for years by the May 2005 death of Deputy Keith Cannon, but didn't realize how deeply it bothered him until recently.
"It was something that was tearing me apart for a really long time," Scott said.
Cannon was part of a pursuit of a suspect on Interstate 20, and during the chase, his patrol car crossed the median and collided with another vehicle. Cannon died from his injuries.
Scott, who was working with the Richland County Sheriff's Department at the time, had hired Cannon.
"You shouldn't hire someone and look down in a car and see that person deceased," Scott said. "That affected me personally, continuously."
Scott said he didn't realize this until he began to receive counseling.
During his time off, still collected his $112,000 a year salary. City Manager Teresa Wilson said at the time Scott used accumulated time off and will be paid during his leave.
This was not the first interruption of his tenure. Back in December, Scott retired as police chief to because of changes to the state police retirement system, which would have meant he'd collect less money down the road.
Scott had been chief since 2010. Prior to becoming chief, he had been with the Richland County Sheriff's Department.
City Manager Teresa Wilson said Ruben Santiago will serve as interim chief.
As for Scott, he asked for privacy as he continues to deal with the matter, and said he'd share more at a later date. He also said he would resume his law enforcement career at some point in the future.
"Let me complete what I've started," Scott said. "Once I complete it, I will come back."