COTTAGEVILLE — Tomorrow marks embattled police officer Randy Price's final day on Cottageville town payroll, though it's been nearly three months since he reported for duty.

Mayor Margaret Steen said she laid off Price because of a tightening budget, though she still awaits the results of a State Law Enforcement Division investigation into a May 16 shooting in which Price killed former Mayor Bert Reeves.

The two men had a confrontation on a dirt road only hundreds of yards away from Town Hall after an ongoing dispute. Steen said SLED turned over its report on the incident to the local solicitor's office and that she now must wait until prosecutors review the findings.

'From day one, I have said I will keep him on paid administrative leave until the SLED investigation is over,' Steen said. 'That was my word, and I am a person of my word. But being under the budget constraints we are under, I had to lay him off.'

Read more in Wednesday's editions of The Post and Courier.

Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or