Fruitland Police Chief Arrested for DUI - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Fruitland Police Chief Arrested for DUI

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Fruitland Police Chief Michael Phillips Fruitland Police Chief Michael Phillips
FRUITLAND, Md.- Fruitland Police Chief Michael Phillips has been charged with drunk driving following a late Sunday night traffic stop in Somerset County.

The traffic stop happened at around 10:25 p.m. off of Route 13 in the Princess Anne area, according to the Somerset County Sheriff's Office, which made the arrest. In addition to DUI, Phillips was charged with DWI and following too closely.

Phillips' attorney, John Phoebus, released the following statement to the media on Monday afternoon regarding his client's arrest:

"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."

When WBOC reached out to the city of Fruitland to inquire about Phillips' employment status, City Manager John Psota was unavailable for comment.
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