Police Chief’s Return Appealed After Embezzlement Accusations
The Sallisaw City Council voted unanimously Monday night to have the city attorney appeal a judge`s decision that allowed the town`s embattled police chief to return to his post. Sallisaw Police Chief Shaloa Edwards was stripped of his duties earlier this year on accusations that he embezzled city money.
“It’s very stressful to go through all this,” Edwards said. “It would be super, if things could go where they should be. Through all this, it’s going to be a difficult road to get things back where they should be.”
Last week, Judge Holli Wells issued an order that gave Edwards permission to return to his post after earlier being stripped of his duties as police chief. Now, the city council has appealed that decision.
One Sallisaw citizen said emotions have been running high through town since the embezzlement accusations sparked.
“I’m sure you have a mixed bag of emotions when it comes to that, simply for the fact that there probably are some people out there that do feel like they did get let down by his actions,” said Sam Hill, a local resident.
Edwards is preparing for a court hearing set for Sept 24. Legally, if Edwards is convicted of a felony, he would be unable to serve as police chief, according to the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office.
State Rep. John Bennett said appealing the decision is a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“They can’t just kick out an elected official that was elected by the people, and once they did that people stood up and said no you can’t do that,” said Bennett.
Edwards said there are things he would have done differently, but he appreciates the public’s support and the citizens that have stood behind him.
Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart said the appeal may be taken to higher courts where a final decision will be made.