Editor’s Note: a previous version of this story incorrectly identified Lovell as the police chief. He was actually the interim police chief. The story has been updated to reflect that correction.
Kellyville’s newest interim police chief has been suspended, the Town Administrator told Sapulpa Times on Monday afternoon.
Eric Lovell—Kellyville’s fourth person to be in the chief’s position since the new Kellyville Board of Trustees took over in June—was appointed the interim police chief earlier in October.
According to Kellyville citizens Jason and Brandy Horath, the incident that caused the suspension happened the week after Lovell had been appointed as interim chief.
Jason Horath was walking their dog on Spruce street, passing the Police Department, when Lovell yelled a derogatory slur at Horath “not once, but three times, loudly, from the Police Department to across the street,” Brandy Horath told Sapulpa Times on Monday afternoon. She said that both Lovell and the other deputy with him wearing their badges and guns at the time.
Jason Horath walked over to confront the officers, and Lovell did apologize at the time, “but it should never have happened,” Brandy Horath says.
Jason Horath was one of the more vocal citizens in the recent Kellyville Board of Trustees meeting that led to trustee John Taylor resigning, and his wife Brandy said he thought the incident might’ve been set up to draw some sort of reaction out of Horath.
Town Administrator Beverley Lucas confirmed with Sapulpa Times that Lovell had been suspended and that his case would be determined by the Town Board at either the next regular meeting or a special meeting, should they choose to call one.
Lovell seems to be well-regarded by several of the citizens, many of whom were happy to see him appointed interim chief, but the incident was enough for the Town Administrator to issue a suspension. “To even think that this could happen, it was enough to send him home and begin an investigation,” she said.
The next regular session Kellyville board meeting is Tuesday, November 12th at 7:00 pm.