Verona police chief charged with forgery

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Mo. -- The Verona interim police chief was arrested for alleged forgery Thursday by the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department.

"I think everyone here was shocked, a little betrayed," said LaDonna Buzard, a resident of Verona.

Bobby Smith, 36, of Nixa was the police chief in Pleasant Hope before becoming the interim police chief in Verona. Buzard said things started to get out of hand at Verona's City Council meeting on Feb. 27

"You go to a city council meeting and you kind of get bombarded with this and no one saw it coming," she said.

According to Lawrence County Sheriff Brad Delay, Smith presented documentation that his dog had been certified from a police dog training school in Arkansas. Suspicion grew in regards to the certificate and he confessed his knowledge of the police K9 certificate to being false. Buzard says the change in character is surprising.

"The police chief kind of make himself out to be for the citizens and I think everyone had a lot of respect for him and so we were shocked. Now we are just trying to see how it plays out," she said.

Smith was released on a $1,500 bond on March 2. His first court appearance is scheduled for April 5.