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Sheriff's Department Investigating Councilmember Thomas for Attempted Oakland Crossings Deal

Meiying Wu / KBIA

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is investigating whether Fourth Ward Columbia City Councilman Ian Thomas might have broken the law when he tried to negotiate a developer’s donation to a community land trust in exchange for his approval of an annexation and rezoning request.

The investigation is the result of a request from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, which received two complaints from Columbia residents in February about Thomas’s actions.

The complaints, filed Feb. 19 by Jason Gavan and Feb. 27 by James Charles Meyer, allege Thomas might have broken the law last year when negotiating with a developer who wanted the council to approve annexation and rezoning for the proposed Oakland Crossings development. Thomas said he would support the request and advocate for it if the developers made a contribution to Columbia Community Land Trust, a nonprofit organization that promotes affordable housing.