Crime & Courts

After failing drug tests, former Columbia police chief ordered to jail, officer says

This story has been updated to reflect that Randy Scott is currently in jail

A judge has ordered the arrest of Columbia’s former police chief after he tested positive for drugs, according to court documents.

Randy Scott, who served as the head of Columbia Police Department from 2011 to 2013, allegedly violated three conditions of his bond from an arrest by federal authorities in May. He used drugs, failed to submit to drug testing and didn’t show up for substance abuse treatment and counseling, according to a warrant requested by Scott’s probation officer, Crystal Boyd.

Scott used methamphetamine and failed drug tests on May 20, 22 and July 2, the court document says. Further tests confirmed meth was in his system.

In June and early July, he didn’t complete his required drug testing, Boyd wrote in the warrant request. After rescheduling over several weeks, Scott never showed for inpatient drug treatment.

Judge Paige Gossett signed the warrant request Thursday. Police arrested Scott Wednesday, jail records show.

In May, Florence police arrested Scott on a warrant from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The warrant said that Scott used drugs while possessing guns, a violation of federal law, sometime between November 2017 and July 2018. A grand jury indicted him on the charge.

Scott pleaded not guilty to the charge, court records show. At the time, Gossett set a $25,000 bond for Scott to get out of jail, which the former police chief paid. The judge also required that Scott not possess or use drugs, do routine drug tests and go into substance treatment.

The Florence arrest was the former Columbia police chief’s third in less than a year. In July 2018, a search for a fugitive led Richland deputies to Scott’s house, where they found drugs and charged Scott with possession of meth or cocaine. He was arrested again in August on two counts of breach of trust after Richland County Sheriff’s Department, a former employer, accused Scott of not returning his two service guns.

The current warrant for Scott’s arrest means he will have to stay in jail until court proceedings from his May arrest in Florence are resolved. Scott could go to prison for 10 years if convicted.

Scott is being held at Lexington County Detention Center without bond, according to jail records.

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David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.