ELIZABETH BOROUGH (KDKA/AP) — Authorities have filed charges against the former chief of the Elizabeth Borough Police Department.
Timothy Butler was placed on administrative leave earlier this month and resigned from his position Tuesday night for what he called “personal reasons.”
He is now facing a long list of charges, including counts of theft, obstruction and prohibited acts.
Investigators say Butler is accused of stealing drugs from evidence, as well as money from the department. The criminal complaint reports that he told officials “that any heroin evidence was all gone.”
According to the criminal complaint, Butler admitted to being addicted to heroin.
Butler’s attorney Charles LoPresti would not comment on whether it’s true that his client has a heroin addiction that began after a doctor prescribed Vicodin for neck and back pain, but he did say: “This falls classically in the center of all the opioid addiction cases that we read about.”
He continued: “We have great sensitivity in our culture right now to people becoming addicted to opioids as result of doctors over-prescribing.”
He also said the allegation that Butler did not deposit parking meter money is not true.
“Chief Butler absolutely and respectfully denies that he ever converted any money that belonged to the borough or taxpayers or anything in the form of parking meter money,” he said.
KDKA’s David Highfield Reports:
Police say they found “evidence envelopes or bags originally labeled as having contained controlled substances” while conducting a search of Butler’s office. The envelopes had been torn open and re-sealed, officials said.
Officials say approximately 62 bundles and 2,700 loose stamp bags were found in Butler’s trash can, the criminal complaint says. Additionally, officials say 535 loose stamp bags were found in and around his desk.
The criminal complaint says “these items were all examined and found to be emptied of contents.”
The 42-year-old Butler worked at the department for 19 years and became chief in 2014. He was released after his preliminary arraignment.
Sgt. Garrett Kimmell has taken on the role of Sergeant Officer in Charge of the department.
When KDKA reached out to Elizabeth Borough to confirm the circumstances around the chief’s departure at the time, they said they “would not comment on any ongoing criminal investigation nor any ongoing personnel issue.”
Butler faces a bond hearing Friday morning.
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