City Mum About Why Now Two Canidates for Chief Remain

Final list dwindled from five to two, decision expected next week


By Monique Williams

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) -- A City of Columbia public relations representative says of the three candidates for police chief that remained, another has been taken off the list, leaving the number to two viable candidates. The city won't say who the two final candidates are, nor will officials reveal why a third person is no longer being considered. The ongoing saga is causing residents to sound off on the state of their public trust.

And then there were three. No, two.

ABC Columbia News has learned that the identities of the final two candidates for Columbia police chief are a mystery to the public.
Even after repeated requests via phone calls and emails for more information, city officials won't say why a third candidate is no longer being considered, or who the final two men standing are.

This, on the heels of a heavily contentious special called Columbia city council meeting Wednesday, where the decision was made to drop a councilman's request to suspend the official nationwide police chief search and have the county sheriff run the city police department.

One candidate, A. Tony Fisher from Spartanburg, removed himself from the race, citing the ongoing drama as an issue.

However, as much as some citizens' trust is shaken up in the midst of the Columbia police department shake down, about the same amount of folks we spoke to think it will all come out in the wash.

"I don't know what to believe, what to think or what to feel and that's not good. At the end of the day when i go to bed i need to feel safe," said local resident Ginny Pope.

"I'm fine with where we are. I know we're in a flux but I'm patient it will come out just fine," said local resident, Jaime Keeten.

Still, though, they all agree it's not a good look for the capitol city but par for the course for a capitol city's leadership, commenting a third local resident, Diego Padelford, "There's obviously political controversy at all times. It's normal in federal government, state government. It just happens."

One thing that has not changed is city manager Teresa Wilson's plans to announce a new hire early next week.

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