The players in the Columbia Police Department (CPD) just keep being thrust upon the public stage. Senior Assistant City Manager Allison Baker’s home was broken into this past Sunday morning. Baker wasn’t home at the time of the break-in, but found signs of forced entry when he returned home. As far as he can tell the only thing taken was a jar of coins.
No one was harmed, but Baker was recently the target of an alleged “black-ops” scheme perpetrated by the CPD. Former Police Captain Dave Navarro accused Acting Police Chief Ruben Santiago of ordering him to help Santiago plant a stolen gun and some cocaine into Baker’s car to get Baker terminated. According to Navarro, Chief Santiago had someone else in mind that he wanted for the position of Assistant City Manager and needed to get Baker out of the way. Navarro said he was terminated when he refused and Santiago then sued Navarro for slander.
Last week State Law Enforcement Agency (SLED) finalized an investigative report spanning some 405 pages. The report shocked the city with allegations of illegally taped phone calls, threats, illicit affairs, and so-called “black ops” being carried on among the top-ranking elite of the CPD. SLED concluded that something is going on, but there is just not enough evidence for prosecution at this time. Santiago is still being investigated for obstruction of justice. In the meantime CPD is expected to have a new police chief in place by mid-March.