Exclusive: Tandy Carter’s Grievance Hearing

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – Former Columbia Police Chief Tandy Carter defended himself Thursday. Carter had his dayin front of a grievance committee to tell them why he should not have been fired three months ago.

Sporting a new goatee and talking a lot about his golf game, Carter seemed confident as he went in to fight his firing Thursday. He says, “Feel good.” ABC Columbia’s Robin Kanady asked Carter, “What are you going to tell that committee there?” Carter says, “Guess they’ll find out when I get there.” Kanady asks, “If they give you your job back, will you take it?” Carter says, “We’ll see about that.”

Carter requested the meeting be behind closed doors. The grievance committee is made up of three Columbia city employees along with Interim Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins. The man who fired Carter, Columbia city manager, Steve Gantt, was not at Thursday’s hearing. Arguing for the city was Mike King, assistant city manager of public safety. Carter was let go in May after he refused to turn to another law enforcement agency to oversee an April car accident investigation involving then-mayor-elect Steve Benjamin. Carter was adamant that his department could handle things. The city said letting Columbia police investigate their soon-to-be-boss presented the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Carter would not say what he wanted out of Thursday’s hearing. He says, “Do i look like I’m disappointed? What gives you that impression?” Kanady asked Carter, “Do you want your job back or do you just want compensation? What do you want? He says, “We’ll find out, won’t we?”

ABC Columbia News has learned the grievance committee has reached a final decision on whether or not they think the city manager was justified in firing Carter. However, the city has not yet made that information public. City manager Steve Gantt will look at the committee’s recommendation first and then make a final decision.