Friday, September 20 2013 2:23 PM EDT2013-09-20 18:23:55 GMT
The State Law Enforcement Division confirmed to WIS Tuesday morning state investigators, "have begun an investigation" inside the Columbia Police Department. SLED has not said what the allegations involve.More >>
Mayor Steve Benjamin tells WIS he's the one who made the call to have the State Law Enforcement Division investigate the allegations the city's interim police chief and a former high-ranking commander are now tossing at each other.More >>
Friday, September 20 2013 2:22 PM EDT2013-09-20 18:22:19 GMT
A suspended member of the Columbia Police Department command staff says he was removed from his job last week just hours after reporting to the State Law Enforcement Division and the department's InternalMore >>
A former member of the Columbia Police Department command staff says he was removed from his job last week just hours after reporting to the State Law Enforcement Division and the department's Internal Affairs division a plan to plant a stolen gun and cocaine in a city official's car, which would set off a series of events resulting in a change in leadership within the city manager's office and inside the police department.More >>
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.More >>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.More >>
Columbia Police Interim Chief Ruben Santiago has officially filed a defamation suit against former police Capt. Dave Navarro, according to Santiago's attorney.
The suit comes after claims from Navarro that Santiago was setting up a plan to plant drugs and a stolen weapon inside of a top city official's car.
Santiago has since denied the allegations. The city fired Navarro Monday afternoon, citing insubordination, including resisting change and spreading rumors, the unauthorized recording of a phone conversation between Navarro and then-Deputy Chief Santiago, and shredding unknown documents.
The interim chief is being represented by state Rep. Todd Rutherford.
"Santiago, the chief of the city of Columbia, had nothing to do with this," said Rutherford. "He would not ever plant drugs on anybody. There's nothing in his past to indicate he would. His personnel record at the city of Columbia and the county is exemplary, as is former Chief Scott's. I challenge those to go and check David Navarro's record while he was at the county and see if he had the same exemplary record."
Rutherford says Santiago is determined to clear his name and filing a defamation lawsuit is the only way to do that.
"The only thing left for Chief Santiago to do is this; is to file a lawsuit to make sure everybody knows this is not something he's going to let pass by, this is not something he's going to let it go," said Rutherford. "He's very serious about protecting his reputation and the reputation of the city of Columbia Police Department"
The lawsuit will be filed Thursday and Santiago will seek monetary damages.
The State Law Enforcement Division said investigators have "begun an investigation" into the Columbia Police Department, but they have not specified what charges or allegations they are looking into.