Tue, 11 Feb 2014 17:38:25 GMT — COLUMBIA (WACH) -- The City of Columbia has narrowed down it's search for the city's top cop. City Manager Teresa Wilson announced Tuesday five candidates will begin a three day assessment process. Those candidates are Tony Fisher, William Holbrook, Bryan Norwood, Charles Rapp and Gregory Reese. Tony Fisher was the Director of Public Safety for the City of Spartanburg where he was responsible for the operation of Law Enforcement and Fire Suppression services for the City. William Holbrook is the Police Chief in Huntington, West Virginia. Under his direction and leadership, crime reached a 27-year low. Holbrook has served as Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and has also worked for the Charlotte Police Department. Bryan Norwood has more than 20 years of experience and is currently serving as the Chief of Police in Richmond, VA. Norwood has also served as the top cop in Bridgeport, CT and was a DEA Special Agent in New York City. Charles Rapp is the Executive Director for the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions. Director Rapp began his career as a police officer for the Baltimore County Police Department . During his career with the Baltimore County Police Department, Director Rapp has served as Captain of the Police Training Academy, Criminal Investigations Division and Commander of the Hostage Negotiation Team. Colonel Gregory Reese is the Chief of Security Forces for Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. A 23 year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he has served as Police Chief of four separate military police departments and is currently the regional Police Chief responsible for 7 military police departments. Missing from the list of finalists is Columbia's current Interim Chief Ruben Santiago. Santiago and the Columbia Police Department have been the center of a investigation since July 2013, after former Columbia Police Captain David Navarro said Santiago was planning a conspiracy to put cocaine and a stolen gun in the assistant city managers 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 "undeniably untrue, and false."