Pawhuska’s city manager said Friday that a termination letter had been mailed to Police Chief Nick Silva, ending his employment. City Manager Dave Neely spoke in context of placing advertisements to seek a new chief. He said that he had already received contacts from persons interested in the position.
Neely also said that Officer Lorrie Hennesy was serving as acting Pawhuska police chief until the job is offered to someone on a permanent basis.
“That should come soon,” Neely said of the hiring of a new chief.
The issuance of the termination letter came during an ongoing investigation of Silva and the Pawhuska Police Department by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Osage County District Attorney Mike Fisher said he asked for the investigation around the beginning of January, 2020. Fisher did not specify the exact reasons for seeking an investigation, but said Tuesday of last week that he anticipated there could be one or more criminal charges in front of himself or Kevin Buchanan, the Washington County district attorney, for consideration by the end of that week.
As far as the Journal-Capital is so far aware, no charging decisions were made last week. Fisher said Friday that additional information had been received that would likely extend the life of the OSBI’s investigation of the Pawhuska Police Department.
Tuesday, prior to going to press, the Journal-Capital talked with Fisher and he said that any charges that come out of the OSBI investigation of the Pawhuska Police Department that he requested will likely be filed in Washington County. It looks as though the instances that might be alleged to have been legal violations all occurred in Washington County, he said.
On a separate matter, also involving the Pawhuska police, Fisher said no decision has yet been made regarding the results of an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the early December 2019 arrest of William Copple of Pawhuska
“That is still being reviewed,” Fisher said. Tort claims were submitted to Pawhuska city government in regard to the Copple matter — on behalf of William Copple and his mother, Lola.