Spavinaw Police Chief Arrested On Lewd Molestation Complaints
A small town police chief is on the other side of the law. An Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent arrested Spavinaw Police Chief, Clarence Gregory, Sr. Friday morning. He's accused of molesting two young girls.
The vice mayor said Gregory is no longer being considered the town's police chief. He, along with everyone else in the town, was shocked by the allegations, and some are coming to Gregory's defense.
The Spavinaw Police Department is locked up tight. A sign is hanging on the door to let the town know a special meeting is scheduled; the topic, legal questions concerning law enforcement.
Vice Mayor Johnny Gifford said Gregory took the police chief position a little more than a year ago to help weed out the bad in Spavinaw.
“We do honestly try to stand by each other, ya know, if something goes wrong...has good people and bad people,” he said.
Gifford said he never imagined Gregory would fall into that category.
“I thought I was just gonna fall on the floor when the OSBI told me. It...our clerk and myself, when it's the right situation, wear our emotions on our shoulder and it really...ya know...next question,” Gifford said.
The Mayes County Sheriff's Department asked the OSBI to investigate allegations that Gregory molested two children.
Agents arrested the 75-year-old police chief Thursday morning. OSBI said Gregory touched two grade school girls inappropriately.
Detectives said they believe the abuse had been going on for a couple of years, though wouldn't say how he knew the girls.
Kathi Smith said her heart pulled her to our cameras to ask people not cast stones against the man she knows as "Brother Bear."
“True or not, my heart is broken for him right now,” Smith said. “He will never be looked at the same, regardless of guilt or innocence. His life as he knows it, today ends.”
Smith said Gregory is an active member of Spavinaw Hill's House of Worship.
Gregory has also been involved with the town's school district. We interviewed him in 2011 when he was the School Board President.
Residents said he’s spent many years volunteering as an assistant basketball coach, boys and girls teams, in Spavinaw.
The school said Gregory is no longer on the board.
The vice mayor said there are still two officers patrolling in Spavinaw. Friday night's town hall meeting will decide if one of those will be named interim chief.
They'll also discuss getting rid of the police department all together and contracting services out to the Mayes County Sheriff's Office.