An official in the Columbia Parks and Recreation Division is on suspension after he was charged with taking kickbacks.
A grand jury in the capital charged Damon McDuffie Thursday with two counts of taking illegal payments while working with contractors at the city’s parks. Shortly after the announcement, assistant city manager S. Allison Baker confirmed she had suspended McDuffie from his job as Columbia’s parks planning manager.
The federal indictment says McDuffie sought payments from contractors looking to work on city park projects from 2006 to January 2010. The projects include footbridge repairs at the city’s Riverfront Park.
If found guilty, McDuffie could face as much as 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count. US Attorney William Nettles said the FBI was involved in the investigation.