City of Somerton dismisses police chief

SOMERTON, Ariz. - The city of Somerton has dismissed their police chief after voting against his contract Wednesday night.

During an open session, the Somerton City Council voted 5-2 against renewing Jeffery Cavendar's contract. Cavender began serving as Somerton police chief in May 2017. 

Somerton Mayor Jose Yepez said the department's second-in-command, Capt. Joseph Turitto will serve as acting chief as the department seeks candidates for the position.

Back in November, Cavender faced criticism following the suspension of two officers in the department. Residents questioned Cavender's background and the suspension of Capt. Michelle Magana who claimed the chief retaliated against her for exercising her First Amendment rights. 

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