Hoxie, AR – The Hoxie police chief has been placed on leave on Wednesday after he was accused of selling a police department weapon to a local pawn shop.
Hoxie City Attorney Nancy Hall told KAIT that her office received a tip on Monday that Hoxie Police Chief Glen Smith had sold a gun that belonged to the police department to a pawn shop in Lawrence County.
Hall said her office immediately launched an investigation into the allegations.
She said the city placed Chief Smith on paid leave on Aug. 3, according to KAIT.
The city attorney said the gun in question was back in the possession of the city of Hoxie.
Hall said the pawn shop had returned the gun to the city after they were notified of the investigation but did not provide any details about whether the city of Hoxie had to buy the weapon back and who got possession of the weapon when it was returned.
She said the case was being turned over to the Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office in Walnut Ridge, KAIT reported.
The prosecutor’s office has so far refused to comment on its investigation.
KAIT reached out to Chief Smith before he was publicly suspended, and the police chief explained that the sale of the gun was “an accident.”
He did not explain the details of how the “accident” occurred which led to him selling a department-owned gun at a pawn shop.
At the time of the interview, the police chief said there was no internal police department investigation into the matter.
He also did not mention being put on leave, according to KAIT.
The city attorney confirmed Chief Smith’s suspension to the news station shortly thereafter.
Hoxie has a population of just under 3,000 residents.
Chief Smith’s wife, Keri Smith, was arrested in 2018 after auditors discovered that she had stolen more than $20,000 in cash from utility payments residents had made to the City Clerk’s Office while she was working there, KAIT reported.
Keri Smith admitted to her crimes to detectives.
“Smith confessed to taking cash money from customers, which she then used for her personal use,” investigators wrote in charging documents.