Damon McDuffie, park planner for the City of Columbia, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly accepting payments from contractors seeking business with the city.
The U.S. Attorney’s office sent out a news release just after 3:30 p.m. announcing the news. McDuffie, 34, learned of the indictment from a reporter. Assistant City Manager Allison Baker, McDuffie’s boss, said he had not seen the indictment. Baker said McDuffie would be suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case.
“I’m absolutely concerned where there is wrongdoing or allegations of wrongdoing,” Baker said. “Regardless of how serious the matter is or otherwise, the integrity of the city and the department of parks and recreation is important.”
The indictment is for two counts of interference with commerce by threats or violence. The indictment indicates the federal government is seeking to recoup $15,000 from McDuffie.