Claims of racism put new Edwardsville councilman under investigation

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EDWARDSVILLE, Kan. -- Barely on the job for two weeks, an Edwardsville city councilman is being investigated by the Kansas Bureau of Investigations. A teenager claims she got into a road rage incident with councilman Chuck Stites, and he called her a racial slur.

Seventeen-year-old Kali Chatmon says what was scarier than being called the b-word and the n-word, is finding out the identity of the man she claims said it.

"I've never been called that before," said Chatmon.

She told FOX 4 a near traffic crash got even scarier on May 3rd. She said she was turning onto Kansas Avenue when she spotted a Black Lincoln.

"He had on his signal like he was going to turn right to where I was, so I proceeded to take my right and we almost collided because he continued to go straight,” said Chatmon.

She said she felt bad for almost hitting the car, and started apologizing. She took great offense to what she says the other driver said.

"He was just saying things like go back to Baltimore then he called me a black nigg** *itch," said Chatmon.

The upset teen told her parents. She said they along with her boyfriend spotted the Lincoln at a bar and grill in the 13000 block of Kansas Avenue. That`s where Chatmon said she discovered the driver was Edwardsville councilman Chuck Stites. An employee at the bar and grill told FOX 4 there was an altercation, but didn't want to comment further.

Bonner Springs police gave FOX 4 the police report, and soon after turned the investigation over to the Kansas Bureau of Investigations. In a statement, the KBI said it couldn't yet release details in order to protect the investigation.

After trying for a week, FOX 4 finally heard from councilman Stites before a council meeting, who wouldn`t really say 'yes' or 'no' about the allegations.

"What I`m going to say is that I think it`s all a big misunderstanding, and that it`s being investigated, and I think it would not be appropriate to comment to comment until the investigation is completed. I need to step into the meeting,” said Stites to FOX 4’s Mary Pulley.

Both of Kali`s parents addressed the council at Monday night’s meeting wanting answers, but Stites again refused to speak. Kali's parents were joined by a member of the Bonner Springs NAACP chapter, who's calling for councilman Stites to step down.

In a statement a KBI spokesman said more information would be released once the investigation is complete.