An outside police agency has been called to investigate allegations of financial misconduct with a federal loan program managed by the city of Columbia.
Earlier this week, former staff member Scott Blackmon, who was hired to fix the loan programs, raised questions about the program and complained that he was impeded in his efforts to fix problems with the loans. Poor record keeping also is a problem, he wrote in a memo to his former boss.
Blackmon turned in his resignation letter Monday, the days news broke of the U.S. Department of Commerce's investigation of how Columbia loans federal money.
The city announced the criminal investigation Thursday afternoon through an e-mail to local media. City officials said they were not aware of the allegations until Blackmon shared them with the media, the release said. Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott has requested the investigation be launched as soon as possible, the release said.
The city's release said officials will have no further comment until the investigation is complete.