Appeal denied for fired Brinkley police chief

An appeal by a fired police chief was denied at Brinkley's City Council meeting Tuesday night.

In the past few months several accusations of sexual activity between former chief, Michael Edwards, and a fellow officer prompted the firing.

On Tuesday, Edwards tried to get his job back.

People packed inside and outside of the city council meeting, where Edwards' attorney laid out a violation of state law in firing his client.

However, the council seemed set on the decision it made two weeks ago.

"No one is making a motion to continue this as an action item, then the termination stands," said Brinkley Mayor Bill Hankins.

Just like that, the former police chief's appeal was shot down by the same group who appointed him to his position about two years ago.

"First thing is I appreciate the citizens who came out and supported me tonight, my wife's support, I appreciate that," said Edwards in his first public statement since the accusations.

"Everything else is going like I thought it would and everything," he continued before referring all other questions to his attorney.

During the short meeting attorney David Carruth pointed out gaps in the city's decision.

"One of the first issues is that I would want him to look at in a lawsuit is were you given due process?" Carruth said. "Were you given a fair enough process that you could adequately defend yourself? We did the best we could with it."

An investigation by Arkansas State Police illustrated accusations by the alleged victim: Lawanna Craig, formerly Lawanna Halliburton at the time of the activity.

Monroe county's prosecuting attorney deemed no proof of force when the investigation was complete.

"The allegations by Mrs. (Lawanna) Halliburton are not substantiated by any third-party information," Carruth told city council.

Another twist that came to light during the meeting was a previous romantic relationship between Edwards and Halliburton

"She takes things that happened when they were dating, for those of you who don't know they did date at one time back when they were single, and places those in the work relationship," Carruth continued. "In other words taking two sets of facts and making them into one that suits a purpose."

The alleged victim, Craig declined to talk as she is in the midst a lawsuit against the city for discrimination.

It's expected Edwards 'will file lawsuit as well against the city for wrongful termination.