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Maypearl Residents Pray For Healing After PD Chief Sex Charges

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MAYPEARL (CBS 11 NEWS) - In the small Ellis county town of Maypearl, the community is calling upon the healing power of prayer. They're looking to sooth the flames of scandal that seem to burn brightest in the smallest towns.

"This is a tight knight community," says Duane Charles of Maypearl, "and it was quickly falling apart. The finger pointing needed to stop."

Citizens say the accusations have been flying since the city's police chief, Kevin Coffey, was arrested and accused of sexual misconduct involving a teenage girl. The former chief is facing four felony counts involving text messages and nude video chats with a girl who was 14 when the inappropriate contact began. Coffey remains jailed on a $350,000 bond.

Maypearl Prayer vigil
(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

During a prayer vigil organized by citizens Saturday, supporters prayed for and with the city's police officers... with one officer praying "help us work with our community to rebuild our relationships with the integrity that this department stands for."

Maypearl Crpl. Robert Mhoon couldn't comment about Coffey's arrest. But, told CBS 11 News that he was moved when the crowd pressed closer to touch and pray for the officers that remain on the force. "To know that this community supports us after such a dramatic event, that they stand behind us and still entrust us with their safety, [is] very touching, heart wrenching."

Still, the frustration is tangible in Maypearl. The city's small council room was full during a special Saturday meeting. Many citizens worry that there must be more to this sordid story than what is being shared.

"I just felt uncomfortable, him being the chief," says John Pruitt, a former Maypearl Mayor and City Council member. Pruitt says he had long wondered why Coffey bounced around so many departments in his 16 year career. And while he abhors the negative publicity that the arrest has brought to Maypearl, he says, "I would rather it be stopped here than go somewhere else. I want it to stop here."

Nevertheless, those who had hoped for answers during the special called meeting left disappointed.

Almost all of the hour-long meeting was conducted in executive session. Mayor Adele Mooney began the public portion of the meeting by reading a statement outlining the steps required to fire Coffey. After returning from executive session, she ended the meeting by saying that as much as the council would have liked to fire Coffey, they couldn't because he quit.

Investigators are still asking for other victims to come forward.

Meanwhile, Maypearl city leaders say they are now beginning the search for an interim police chief.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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