COLUMBIA (WACH) - The black cloud hanging over the Columbia Police Department seems to have finally been lifted.
Walt Wilkins is the attorney who examined whether sufficient evidence existed to criminally charge either Interim Columbia Police Chief Santiago or former CPD Captian David Navarro.
There has been a fierce battle waging between these two for months.
It had been alleged that Santiago came up with a plan to have Navarro plant a stolen gun and cocaine in a city official's car in order to further his own goals within the Department.
"I have determined that Dave Navarro's allegations that Santiago asked him to plant evidence lack sufficient evidence to support any criminal charges." says Walt Wilkins, the Solicitor charged with reviewing the file connected to this investigation.
It had also been alleged by Santiago that Navarro shredded documents in a criminal manner and mishandled police charity funds.
"As to Santiago's concerns regarding document shredding and the handling of those charitable funds, we have not found any sufficient evidence to support any criminal charges of those as well." states Wilkins.
Another piece of this puzzle was the part of the investigation concerning Santiago and former Department Crime Analyst Bridget Caffery.
It had been alleged these two had potentially hindered the investigation by not being fully forthright with all their information.
"We came to the conclusion that there were instances where they may not have been fully forthright with the investigators at the time. However, it did not rise to the level of criminality. Or that their omissions, or their statements, were not material to the investigation." says Wilkins.
With insufficient evidence to support any of the criminal charges involved in this investigation, Wilkins announced the investigation is formally closed.
And with that closing comes the hope this police department can move forward to a brighter day.
Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson has requested the file from the State Law Enforcement Division.
Wilson says she plans on reviewing that file with her staff and advisors.