Source: McClung to retire May 1

PERKINS TWP. A source inside the Perkins Township Police Department confirmed Thursday Police Chief
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

PERKINS TWP.

A source inside the Perkins Township Police Department confirmed Thursday Police Chief Tim McClung plans to retire May 1.

This news came a day after an agreement was reached in his civil lawsuit in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

Attorneys met in court Wednesday for a mediation session in a lawsuit filed by McClung and Lt. Al Matthews against the township, trustee Bill Dwelle and his wife Sandy Dwelle.

The lawsuit was filed in May 2007 seeking damages against the Dwelles for "malicious defamation" resulting in a "hostile work environment," according to the lawsuit.

Attorney William Smith Jr., who represented the Dwelles in the lawsuit, said people will have to wait until Tuesday to hear official word on Wednesday's mediation meeting.

"It'll be discussed at the township trustee meeting Tuesday evening," Smith said.

Dwelle remained tight-lipped.

"It's going to be an interesting few days," he said and laughed when asked if there was any monetary settlement of the lawsuit planned. "Everything is private and confidential."

Trustee Tim Coleman declined comment and trustee Jeff Ferrell said he didn't know the outcome of the meeting.

McClung has been police chief since 1995 when he was appointed to replace Richard Burrows, who died.

Prior to his death, Burrows described McClung as "dedicated, qualified and loyal." McClung began working for the department in 1985. He was promoted to detective in 1990 and to detective-sergeant in 1993.

After Burrows' death, McClung served as the police department's acting chief for about two months until he was appointed chief in a 2-1 trustee vote. Former trustees Marie Hildebrandt and Jim Dee voted in favor of McClung. Penny Groscost cast the dissenting vote in 1995.

In May 2007, McClung and Matthews said they were forced to file the lawsuit because the situation with Dwelle was escalating. McClung claimed then that Dwelle had indicated his intention to have him fired from his position as police chief.

The lawsuit also alleged acts of defamation against McClung and Matthews, including:

n In December 2005 before taking office, Dwelle indicated to citizens McClung and Matthews were stealing and illegally shooting police ammunition.

n In January 2006, Dwelle questioned McClung's spending of police department funds and the location of $250,000 worth of police equipment.

n In August 2006, Dwelle accused McClung, in front of others, of tapping phone lines at the Perkins Township Hall.

n In December 2006, Dwelle, while speaking with a school board member about township business, called McClung a liar who lies all the time and stated that McClung was suffering from a mental illness.

n In December 2006, Dwelle accused McClung of committing illegal activities with regards to purchases from Ohio's Homeland Security office.

Matthews also filed suit against Sandy Dwelle, who he claimed stalked him on several occasions at the direction of her husband and/or Perkins Township.