Mayor Now Acting as Interim Police Chief in Cherokee Village

CHEROKEE VILLAGE, AR (KAIT) - Mayor Lloyd Hefley says he's currently the acting police chief in his community, following the "resignation" of Chief Scott Goodwin earlier this week.  Meanwhile, Goodwin told Region 8 News this morning that he has not resigned and still considers himself the chief.

Hefley issued the following statement to Region 8 News this morning...

"On October 10, 2008, I received a letter from all the police officers working for the city of Cherokee Village that they were in a hostile work environment.  They said this hostile environment has managed to squash their department.  This led to an environment of fear and intimidation creating a high level of stress and distraction.  The officers directed most of their dissatisfaction toward Sgt. Ric Morris.  All of these problems started when Chief Scott Goodwin promoted Officer Ric Morris to Sergeant on November 16, 2006.  Obviously, these problems occured over a long period of time without being addressed by Chief Goodwin."

Hefley went on state, "It is Chief Goodwin's responsibility for: leadership, guidance, a positive officer/manager relationship.  His failure to correct this hostile environment exemplifies his lack of leadership."

"In order to correct this very serious situation I have asked Chief Goodwin to resign.  I have demoted Sergeant Ric Morris to patrol officer.  We have very qualified and experienced police officers with many hours of proper training that with proper leadership could become the best police department in the state."

Goodwin declined further comment on the matter until he speaks with his attorney.