Sallisaw City Council Takes Away Police Chief’s Power

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The Sallisaw city council voted unanimously Monday to strip Police Chief Shaloa Edwards of his supervising powers.

“City manager has appointed a captain in the police department to assume day to day supervision of the officers and their duties,” said Sallisaw Mayor Shannon Vann.

Vann says Edwards admitted to taking public money. “He has admitted to taking on three different occasions small amounts of money for his personal use, essentially buying lunch for himself,” said Vann.

Sallisaw City Manager Bill Baker told 5NEWS Edwards returned the money.

“It's certainly a violation of city policy regarding those funds,” said Vann.

Baker says the city launched an internal investigation and passed the information along to the district attorney’s office. The police chief is an elected position.

“He's still the chief,” said Vann. “He still has the authority to enforce the laws of the city and the state.”

People in Sallisaw told 5NEWS they support Edwards, but many did not want to talk on camera because they are afraid of retaliation. Encouraging comments fill Edwards’ Facebook page.

People living in Sallisaw want the situation resolved. “If what he's done is illegal then he shouldn't be there. It's plain and simple,” said Heath Howell, a Sallisaw resident.

The city plans to revisit the issue in 90 days if not sooner.

5NEWS tried contacted Edwards’ attorney almost a dozen times Wednesday. He did not return our phone calls.