Tapes from Columbia Police Department "Black Ops" scandal
Fri, 28 Feb 2014 03:36:46 GMT — COLUMBIA (WACH) - The fallout from conspiracy and corruption allegations within the City of Columbia Police Department continue to unfold.
13th Court Solicitor Walt Wilkins determined there was not enough evidence to bring charges in the CPD "Black Ops" scandal. Taped conversations between interim police chief Ruben Santiago and former police captain David Navarro have been released by city officials. They say Navarro secretly made the tapes in January of 2013 shortly after former chief Randy Scott stepped down citing struggles with PTSD.
Navarro was let go six months later for insubordination after it was learned that he was making tapes and accusations against Ruben Santiago. Since his removal from the department, Navarro claims that Saintigo had been planning a "Black Op's' political maneuver to oust Assistannt City Manager Allison Baker by planting drugs and a gun inside his car. The removal of Baker would have potentially paved the way for inter-department promotions for Santiago and former captain Navarro. They also discuss former Chief Scott. We warn you,some of these conversations contain offensive material.
Intirim Chief Santiago says claims by Navarro were made in retaliation because the former captain was unhappy with his department transfer from supervising drug and policing teams to the city's north region.
Both Navarro and Santiago have filed lawsuits against each other.
City Manager Teresa Wilson is currently reviewing the FBI and SLED investigations to determine any policy violations as she considers which steps to take next. SLED spokesperson Thom Berry says more information about the tapes will be released next week. All this happening while a choice for a permanent police chief is in its final stages.