Community Upset After Pawhuska Police Chief Is Abruptly Fired
PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma - People in one Green Country town said they are angry and confused after their police chief was abruptly fired. Now, they want answers.
Former Pawhuska Chief Nick Silva had only been chief for two months and was fired Friday.
The city managers who fired him said they just weren't happy with the direction the department was taking.
Silva said City Manager Larry Eulert and Assistant City Manager Rex Weikel fired him.
News On 6 spoke with Weikel over the phone, and he said Eulert is in charge of hiring and firing and he couldn't comment any further.
Eulert did not return our call.
The former chief said he made changes, like putting officers on foot patrol, adding a therapy dog and putting a sex offender registry online.
He said a police sergeant and dispatcher quit after he was fired.
"I'll tell the citizens, I'll be back tomorrow. All I need to hear is, 'Hey, come back, we're sorry this has happened.' That's what this world is about- forgiveness," said former Chief Silva. "I just want to come back and finish what we started. I think the community wants that as well."
News on 6 also spoke with several citizens who said they felt safer with Silva in charge.
One of those, business owner Lisa Moreland, said officers on foot patrol protected her when someone was threatening her business.
"It's terribly heartbreaking," Moreland said. "If he's been told they don't like the direction that our community is going in, everyone is in disagreement to that. We really appreciated all that he was doing."
Silva said he is taking legal action.
The Osage County Sheriff said his former jail administrator, Charlie Cartwright, will be the new temporary police chief.