Clayton Police chief’s future remains in limbo

 

DOVER — The Town of Clayton remained two officers down from full force as the DUI case of Police Chief Brian C. Hill continued with a suppression hearing in the Court of Common Pleas Monday.

Besides Chief Hill, placed on administrative leave with pay following a misdemeanor first offense drunken driving charge of alcohol on Aug. 12, 2017, the municipal department has been without an injured full-time officer who Mayor David Letterman is hoping will return to duty soon.

It’s also been a challenge the past several months after at least two other Clayton officers missed time due to off duty injuries, the mayor said.

A part-time officer was recently hired, and the department is now staffed with eight policemen instead of 10.

Acting Chief Lt. Carl Hutson has altered his own duty to compensate as well, the mayor said.

Despite the shortage, the mayor said Tuesday that community safety needs continue to be met.

“We’re still covering all the shifts and getting 24-7 coverage every day of the week,” Mr. Letterman said.

Brian C. Hill

Mr. Letterman was at Monday’s hearing that discussed three pending legal issues regarding the Delaware State Police case against the police chief, who earlier pleaded not guilty to DUI.

“There’s been no conclusion reached from Monday’s hearing, so nothing has changed from the current status,” Mr. Letterman said. “It will be the council’s decision on what moves to make in the future, but right now that’s in limbo.”

Legal questions arose Monday surrounding the decision to take Chief Hill from the scene to conduct tests at Troop 9 in Odessa, probable cause and sufficiency of a 20-minute observation period prior to using an intoxilyzer.

After hearing testimony from two Delaware State Police troopers and a Clayton Police officer Monday, Judge Anne Hartnett Reigle advised attorneys to present written submissions summing up their arguments regarding suppression issues.

Defense attorney Jim Liguori’s submissions are due April 18 and Mr. Donahue was required to respond by May 4.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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