Clayton Police chief’s DUI trial postponed to April

 

DOVER — A northern Kent County police chief accused of drunken driving is set to appear in court at 9 a.m. on April 9 following Monday’s delay due to scheduling conflicts.

Brian C. Hill, who pleaded not guilty to a first offense driving under the influence of alcohol following a traffic stop on Aug. 12, 2017, was slated for a Court of Common Pleas trial Monday morning that did not take place.

He was placed on administrative leave with pay by the Town of Clayton after the alleged incident five months ago.

Chief Hill, 47, of Dover, was in court on Nov. 29, 2017, when a scheduled case review was postponed until this week.

Delaware State Police charged the police chief after a Saturday night traffic stop in the area of Sunnyside Road and Southern View Drive south of Smyrna.

Authorities said he was driving a silver 1998 Porsche Boxter when stopped just after 10 p.m. and did not indicate if he was alone at the time.

A failure to remain in a single lane citation was also issued. Original paperwork listed a blood-alcohol concentration of .016 percent based on an intoxilyzer, along with the stop’s location as taking place in New Castle County. State Police amended both items.

The minimum threshold for drunken driving in Delaware is .08 percent.

Chief Hill has been on paid administrative leave since a unanimous town council vote during a special meeting on Aug. 29 at town hall. Lt. Carl Hutson was named acting chief in his place.

Brian C. Hill

Shortly after the alleged incident, the police chief did not respond to media requests for comment made via e-mail and voicemail.

His is being represented by attorney Jim Liguori.

According to the town, the police chief is paid $80,828.80 annually.

Clayton Mayor David Letterman did not learn of the alleged incident until late on the night of Aug. 16.

When contacted by a Delaware State News reporter earlier in the day, the mayor said he was not aware of any possible traffic stop involving the police chief and would look into it.

On Aug. 17, the mayor confirmed that Chief Hill was involved in a stop.

He would not say who called who to discuss the situation.

Following the special council meeting on Aug. 29, Mayor Letterman described the decision as “a balancing act” for the town to “look out for its citizens” and also the chief’s “right to due process.”

The chief’s job performance — spanning approximately 10 years — drew sterling reviews from the mayor and residents who went to the meeting at town hall.

“In the years he’s been here he’s done an exemplary job,” Mayor Letterman said.

“… He has done a great job up to this point. Everyone makes mistakes.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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