UPDATE: Fruitland Police Chief Faces DWI, Placed On Leave - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

UPDATE: Fruitland Police Chief Faces DWI, Placed On Leave

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SOMERSET CO., Md. - A local sheriff's office says they arrested Fruitland's Police Chief on Sunday night. The Somerset County Sheriff's Office says Chief Mike Phillips has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

City Manager John Psota said the City of Fruitland would not be commenting on the incident and also declined comment on the Chief's employment status. However Attorney John Phoebus released the following statement:

Fruitland Police Chief Michael Phillips requested today that the Fruitland City Council place him on paid administrative leave as the town's police chief until charges against him in Somerset County are resolved. The council agreed and placed him on paid administrative leave pending the resolution of these charges, which is exactly how any Fruitland police officer would be treated in a similar situation.

Chief Phillips was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and driving while impaired. He was issued traffic citations by a deputy of the Somerset County Sheriff's Department. He was operating a personal vehicle, was unarmed, not in uniform and was off-duty. A trial date will be scheduled in the District Court for Somerset County.

This voluntary action by Chief Phillips in requesting to be placed on administrative leave should not be construed as an admission of wrongdoing by him. He is presumed innocent of all of charges against him and has confidence in our judicial system that this matter will be resolved both fairly and favorably.

Because of the pending trial, Chief Phillips will have no further comment on these charges. Any questions should be directed to his attorney, John K. Phoebus of Anthenelli & Phoebus.

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