Accusations of a conspiracy in the Columbia Police Department are now prompting a lawsuit by the police chief.
Chief Ruben Santiago is pursing legal action against former Captain Dave Navarro, who claims the chief tried to involve him in a scheme where a stolen gun and drugs would be planted in the car of Assistant City Manager Allison Baker so Baker would be fired and there could be some reshuffling of police personnel.
Navarro contends that when he refused to take part, he was fired.
Santiago has said that's ridiculous, and is suing Navarro for slander, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The chief will be represented by attorney Todd Rutherford, also a Richland County State Representative, who says Santiago wants to clear his name and protect his reputation and that of the police department.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages.
State police are conducting an investigation into the charges and counter-charges between Santiago and Navarro, whom the city says was fired because of insubordination, illegally shredding documents and recording a call with the chief, and possibly misappropriating funds from a police charity.