Former Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott has been arrested again — this time on charges he didn’t return his service guns to the city of Columbia and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
Scott has been charged with two counts of breach of trust with fraudulent intent. Breach of trust is a misdemeanor charge that basically means he appropriated property that he had been entrusted with.
This is the second arrest in a month for Scott, 49, who was charged in July with a minor drug offense at his home off Heyward Higgins Road in northeast Richland.
That arrest took place during a U.S. marshals’ task force raid for a wanted fugitive.
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During that raid at Scott’s house, officers found the guns. One was a .40-caliber Glock that Scott allegedly failed to return to the sheriff’s department after his resignation in July 2016. The other was a 9-mm pistol he allegedly failed to return to the Columbia Police Department when he resigned in May 2013. The gun in the Columbia Police case is a limited run FN handgun, according to Scott’s lawyer. FN is a gun manufacturer located in northeast Richland County.
Scott’s latest arrest was announced Thursday morning by Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook and Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott.
The guns Scott is charged with appropriating are listed as costing at least several hundred dollars each. Warrants in the case say the value of each is less than $1,000.
Additionally, Lisa Grazioli, 52, a former Richland County sheriff’s deputy, has been charged with breach of trust for a shotgun found in Scott’s residence. Investigators learned Grazioli failed to return the shotgun belonging to the sheriff’s department. Grazioli lives in Scott’s home and resigned from the sheriff’s department in March 2017, a news release said.
Both were released on personal recognizance bonds Thursday morning.
Scott and Grazioli’s lawyer, Mark Schnee, said he expects the charges to be fully dismissed, calling the accusations against his clients “vindictive” and an “embarrassment” to the sheriff’s department.
“These were not stolen or nefarious,” Schnee said. “I don’t know why they [Richland County Sheriff’s Department] want to come out and say ‘we don’t know what we have and what we issued.’ ... The Glock was given to him 10 years ago and they haven’t asked where it is?”
The gun that’s said to belong to Columbia Police was purchased by Scott, Schnee said.
In Grazioli’s case, Schnee said the Richland County Sheriff’s Department doesn’t have adequate policies to keep track of its guns. When Grazioli left the force, a Richland County Sheriff’s Department officer retrieved her badge and uniform but didn’t know about the shotgun.
Lott declined to comment, saying the case would be handled in court.