Embattled Chief Files Suit Against Sallisaw

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A local police chief files suit against his own city. That's after he says city administrators are keeping him from doing the job he was elected to do.

Shaloa Edwards is asking a judge to help him get his authority as the Sallisaw Police Chief back. He filed a petition with the Sequoyah County District Court on March 20 asking for an injunction against the city of Sallisaw, Mayor Shannon Vann and City Manager Bill Baker.

"I think there was a lack of trust," Baker explained. "Perhaps there was a loss of respect. There's some question about some misappropriation of city property including a cash account."

The petition states Edwards feels the city administration was wrong when they took away his power after allegations surfaced that he used a small amount of public money for personal use.

Some residents told 5NEWS they were surprised when they first heard the news about Edwards.

"I was a little bit shocked," one woman told 5NEWS. "I think Shaloa is a highly-respected police chief. And i think the citizens of the town were a little bit surprised."

An investigation is still underway into how Edwards ran the police department. In the meantime, Baker is running daily operations.

Baker said that even though he took over the authority of police chief back in February that Edwards is still the police chief in Sallisaw.

"[Edwards] is still the police chief of Sallisaw," Baker said. "He is still recieving his salary for that. And he continues to function in that capacity except he cannot give any directives or orders to the employees. Those are coming through me."

Now, the city is left to see what the investigation uncovers and what a judge does with Edwards injunction.

His injunction asks for a speedy hearing because until this issue is resolved, Edwards says he can't perform the duties that Sallisaw's citizens elected him to do.