Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A former captain with the Columbia Police Department has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the City of Columbia.
David Navarro and his attorney made their claims public in a suit put forth in circuit court Thusday. The City of Columbia is named as the lone defendant.
City Manager Teresa Wilson terminated Navarro back on July 15th, saying he violated city policy by recording a conversation with the police chief and shredding documents. Navarro denied those claims. Previous Coverage: Columbia Police Captain Fired | Fired Officer Denies Claims Made by City
In the suit, Navarro claimed that while he was working for the department, he'd been asked by Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago to plant drugs on a public official in a plot to discredit the official. Santiago has since sued Navarro for slander for making that claim. Previous Coverage: Police Chief Suing Ex-Officer for Slander
The lawsuit also claims Santiago transferred Navarro to a different region of the city. According to the filing, Santiago wanted Navarro to fabricate allegations against another officer stationed there.
Both of these requests, according to Navarro, were referred to by Santiago as a "black ops" project.
When he refused to take part in this actions, the suit claims, he was fired by Santiago, and the city later ratified the termination.
The suit says Navarro has suffered loss of benefits, injury to reputation, and humilation, and is seeking damages.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin has called for a State Law Enforcement Division investigation into Navarro's claims. Previous Coverage: Columbia Mayor Says He Has No Tolerance for Corruption Wednesday night, he told News19 that he would not tolerate any corruption in city government. Previous Coverage: Benjamin Sits Down with News19