The police chief in Espanola, Ont., is under investigation and has been suspended with pay.

Mary-Lou Mick, chair of the Espanola Police Services Board, says the board received a complaint on Wednesday. Chief Steven Edwards was suspended on Thursday, she said.

Mick says the suspension falls under section 77 (4) of the police service act, which deals with the code of conduct.

She says an outside agency from southern Ontario will be investigating.

"[The investigation] has to be done in a expedient manner," she said.

"We can't be dragged on. But there's a fair amount of investigation, a fair number of people who have got to be interviewed. So that takes time."

Mick says the Ontario Civilian Police Commission will also be doing its own investigation.

In the meantime, Sergeant William Lamour, the highest ranking officer in the force, has been appointed interim chief.

Mick says if charges are laid against Edwards, that information will be released to the public.