Columbia Police captain fired for recording conversations, shredding documents, spreading rumors

Navarro (right) recorded a conversation with Santiago (left) back in January, according to Wilson.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Columbia Police Capt. David Navarro was fired Monday after he recorded a conversation with Interim Police Chief Ruben Santiago without him knowing, shredded documents at work, and spread rumors about the police department, according to City Manager Teresa Wilson.

On July 10, Santiago placed Navarro on "Investigatory Suspension without pay, pending the outcome of an investigation."

On July 11, the acting deputy chief filed a Progressive Disciplinary Action Form agains Navarro. The offenses he cited included a violation of the City of Columbia Employee Handbook, including "secret or unauthorized recordings of conversations or meetings in the workplace." He also cited "insubordination to supervisor" and "criticism and malicious gossip."

On July 12, Wilson "discharged" Navarro from "at will employment." He was officially fired Monday.

The odd behavior started about a week ago after Navarro was asked to make a lateral move within the police department and refused to do so, according to Wilson.

Navarro recorded the conversation with Santiago back in January, according to Wilson. She says she does not know what the conversation was about.

Wilson says she does not know what documents were shredded, but city officials are investigating to determine whether they were city documents.