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Columbia’s interim police chief Santiago resigns

COLUMBIA (AP) — Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago has resigned as the city gets closer to hiring a new police chief.

Santiago has run the department for nearly a year, but was not one of the finalists as city officials look to hire a new leader.

Santiago sent his resignation note late Thursday afternoon. The city named longtime Maj. Melron Kelly to act as chief until the new permanent leader is in place.

Columbia has had eight permanent or interim police chiefs in seven years.

The State Law Enforcement Division investigated Santiago over whether he wanted to plant evidence of a crime on a city official. He was not charged, but a prosecutor says Santiago also was not entirely forthcoming with investigators.

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