Columbia, Illinois puts police chief on leave

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COLUMBIA, Ill. (AP) _ The police chief of a small Illinois city near St. Louis is on paid administrative leave following an investigation into a child custody dispute involving his family.

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing told The Associated Press Sunday that his department’s investigation of Columbia Police Chief Joe Edwards has been turned over to a special state prosecutor at the county prosecutor’s request.

Columbia Mayor Kevin Hutchinson tells the Belleville News-Democrat that Edwards is on paid administrative leave. Both men declined to discuss specifics about the case.

Edwards, who has been chief since 2003, could not be reached for comment.

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