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Columbia officials provide few updates in Tate investigation

It’s been several weeks since Lt. Brian Tate of the Columbia Police Department was put on paid leave after the department was made aware of his alleged inappropriate social media use.

Sources told ABC 17 News about specific posts from Tate’s Twitter account that were published in the media, including a tweet that made derogatory comments about a homeless person wearing a trash bag. In another, he supposedly shamed woman for wearing a “sexy” Halloween costume.

On Jan. 9, acting Chief Jill Schlude told the Citizens Police Review Board that she had directed Lt. Paul Dickinson to complete an internal investigation of Tate’s social media use. Dickinson is the former lead investigator and supervisor of the Internal Affairs Unit. He oversaw internal investigations from 2012 to 2015.

Tate joined the unit in 2015, and Schlude said the two had never worked together.

Schlude would not comment to ABC 17 News about the progress of the investigation Tuesday night. Sources tell ABC 17 News that is nearing completion.

On Jan. 9, Schlude told ABC 17 News that interim City Manager John Glascock requested a quick but thorough investigation.

CPRB member Cornellia Williams raised concerns about CPD conducting its own investigation. As a result, the board voted almost unanimously, with two abstentions, to recommend that Glascock direct the Missouri State Highway Patrol to do the investigation.

ABC 17 News found Tuesday that the letter of recommendation has not yet made it to Glascock’s desk.

Glascock told ABC 17 News that he has not looked into it yet.

“(I) would have to talk to legal and HR to see if (the) Highway Patrol could even do that,” he said Tuesday night.

Highway Patrol Capt. John Hotz said they have not received a request.

The department’s policy indicates CPD conducts all investigations of its employees. There is a mention that if an employee is suspected of criminal misconduct, the Chief of Police can request a criminal investigation by an outside law enforcement or prosecutorial department be conducted at the same time as the administrative investigation. But there has been no word on if Tate’s alleged actions are being considered criminal.

According to the city of Columbia’s code of ordinances, the Citizens Police Review Board can establish rules and procedures, but they can’t conflict with rules and regulations governing internal affairs investigations.

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