Former Columbia police captain’s termination notice sent to police academy

nophillips@thestate.comAugust 22, 2013 

Former Columbia police captain David Navarro

— The S.C. Criminal Justice Academy has been notified that David Navarro no longer works for the Columbia Police Department.

The justice academy, which oversees all state law enforcement officers’ certification, requires notice be sent when an officer leaves a department.

Navarro, who was a captain, was fired from the Columbia Police Department July 12 for insubordination. After he was fired, Navarro made public his allegations against interim chief Ruben Santiago, saying he had plotted months ago to plant drugs and a stolen gun in an assistant city manager’s car. The discovery of the illegal items would lead to the assistant city manager’s firing and open the slot for former police chief Randy Scott to receive a promotion. Santiago would then advance into the chief’s position, Navarro said.

After those allegations were made, Mayor Steven Benjamin asked SLED to investigate the claims against Santiago.

But Santiago also ordered a SLED investigation into how Navarro spent the Columbia Police Foundation’s petty cash.

Both investigations are ongoing.

The form sent to the criminal justice academy has Santiago’s signature. It says that Navarro was terminated from the department for violation of an agency policy not involving misconduct. The form also notes that Navarro is under investigation by SLED.

The form will be provided to any law enforcement agency if Navarro applies for another policing job.

For now, he is eligible to obtain another law enforcement job, said Capt. Florence McCants, a spokeswoman for the criminal justice academy. But she noted that the SLED investigation may make it difficult for Navarro to find another job while that is ongoing.

Reach Phillips at (803) 771-8307.

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