Connell community reacts to scandals

Connell community reacts to scandals
CONNELL, Wash. -- The city of Connell was hit twice by controversy this week, involving city leaders. KEPR found out how the town is trying to cope.

"I was scared like he brought me home and like all this is happening, so I'm like he could have done something to me, probably," said 16-year old Angiie Olvera.

Olvera grew up in Connell. She's friends with the former police chief's daughter. She used to get rides home with them.

"I look back, and its like oh he could have done something to me, you cause I was like a little girl back then."

The former Connell chief, Michael Kessler, was fired last week.
He is accused of sexual harassment and watching porn on his work phone. That's not all - former Mayor Pro Tem Monica Pruett took a plea deal on theft charges this week. She could get two years of jail time for ripping off a farm she worked for. People in the town say this is a lot for their community to handle at once.

KEPR spoke with a number of people in town who said they'd rather not speak on camera, because they either knew Pruett or Kessler...and they all agreed that something like this, really does hit home for such a small town.

"Well anytime you have a small community like this, things hit home for everybody, because they are friends and it is a small community," said Connell church go-er Carey Marshall.

Marshall lives thirty minutes away, but she attends church in Connell, weekly.

"It's hard for everybody."

So the question is, how will the community move forward?

"I think they'll probably be more careful in how they chose their leaders, and they'll learn from it and they'll continue on," said Marshall.

"They're like somebody good in the town, and seeing this is just going to effect everybody and it's going to be hard to trust Sheriffs now," said Olvera.