Who’s minding the store? Cola. PD investigated for slander, “black ops” scheme

Just as Columbians are settling down from the news of serious problems (including unaccounted for absentee ballots during the presidential election) within the Richland County Elections board, a preliminary investigation has leveled bombshell accusations against the very organization designated to protect and to serve – the Columbia Police Department (CPD).

Former Police Chief Randy Scott resigned in tears.  (photo credit:  thestate.com)

Former Police Chief Randy Scott resigned in tears.
(photo credit: thestate.com)

The CPD has been making the headlines recently almost as much as the criminals they apprehend, and for all of the wrong reasons.  This latest spate of troubles started when then Police Chief Randy Scott abruptly resigned in 2013 citing battles with posttraumatic stress.

Acting Police Chief Ruben Santiago (photo credit:  thestate.com)

Acting Police Chief Ruben Santiago
(photo credit: thestate.com)

Former Deputy Chief of Operations Ruben Santiago took over as the interim police chief.  Before the dust could clear, CPD Captain Dave Navarro was fired for allegedly recording secret conversations between him and a high ranking member of the police department.  Navarro fired back with a stunning allegation that Acting Police Chief Santiago had tried to involve Navarro in a so-called “black-ops” scheme to plant a stolen weapon and cocaine in the car of a Columbia city manager so that person would get fired and they could move someone else into that position.  Santiago promptly turned around and sued Navarro for defamation.

Former Police Captain Dave Navarro with allegations of corruption (photo credit:  wltx.com)

Former Police Captain Dave Navarro with allegations of corruption
(photo credit: wltx.com)

Things turned so ugly so quickly that the matter was turned over for investigation to both the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).   Read the main findings of the 405-page investigative report in this article published yesterday by local newspaper The State.  In the face of all of the allegations, a special prosecutor for the matter was quoted as saying “no charges would be filed as a result of the investigation and that he considered the case closed.”  It is not known just yet why the investigation is being shut down and dismissed; but it is hoped that the corruption does not reach even higher than the CPD.

Columbia Police Chief Finalists (Photo credit:  thestate.com)

Columbia Police Chief Finalists
(Photo credit: thestate.com)

In the meantime, here are the finalists in Columbia’s search for a new police chief.  According to City Manager Teresa Wilson, they hope to have the new chief in place by mid-March.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Your thoughts?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: