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Knight asks for special prosecutor in city councilman’s case

Boone County’s prosecuting attorney has asked for a special prosecutor to review a criminal investigation into a Columbia City Council member, citing his close relationship with the city police.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department on Friday forwarded the reults of the investigation into whether Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas broke the law when he asked a developer to give to a not-for-profit that builds affordable housing. The donation was meant to be in exchange for Thomas’ support of one of the developer’s projects, though the council never voted on the project.

Thomas reported himself to the Missouri Ethics Commission in November after the city attorney flagged Thomas’ actions as possibly illegal.

“Mr. Thomas serves on the Columbia City Council, and in his capacity as a councilperson he makes decisions that impact the Columbia Police Department,” Knight wrote in his request for a special prosecutor, filed Monday. “The Boone County Prosecutor’s Office works closely with the Columbia Police Department, which is the largest law enforcement agency in the county.”

Knight said he is also friends with Thomas’ in-laws.

Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Locke Thompson will now review the case as special prosecutor and decide whether criminal charges are warranted.

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