COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? The search for a permanent police chief for the Columbia Police Department has been put on hold until a SLED investigation is completed.
The Columbia Police Department has been under investigation since July 2013 following allegations made against Columbia Interim Police Rueben Santiago by former Columbia Police Captain David Navarro.
Navarro told WACH FOX that Santiago was planning a conspiracy to put cocaine and a stolen gun in the assistant city managerâ??s car in an effort to get him fired.
Santiago denies Navarro's claims and filed a lawsuit against Navarro for defamation of character, according to Todd Rutherford, who is representing Santiago in the case. Santiago denies allegations, saying that they are â??undeniably untrue, and false.â??
Councilman Cameron Runyan says the council talked about the search last week and thought it would be best to wait until the investigation was complete before continuing the search for Columbiaâ??s top cop.