Preliminary hearing scheduled for former police chief

Published 4:38 pm Friday, May 15, 2015

A preliminary hearing will be held May 19 for Clanton’s police chief, who faces charges related to theft of funds from the local Fraternal Order of Police annual Christmas fundraiser.

Brian Allan Stilwell, 44, of Clanton, is scheduled to appear at 10:30 a.m. before special District Judge Glenn Goggans, who has been appointed to handle the case in Chilton County for further court proceedings, according to court records.

Stilwell was arrested April 28 for “misappropriation of funds” related to his role as treasurer for the Fraternal Order of Police Smith/Dale Lodge 31.

Stilwell was charged with one count first-degree theft and one count fraudulent use of a credit card.

Stilwell allegedly used a credit/debit card belonging to the FOP to make an unauthorized ATM cash withdrawal at the Regions Bank in Clanton, in the amount of $200, according to court records.

Between March 18, 2014, and Feb. 14, 2015, Stilwell also allegedly exerted “unauthorized control of funds” belonging to the FOP by making unauthorized ATM cash withdrawals and making unauthorized purchases of $4,052.58, according to court records.

Court records indicate Stilwell was the treasurer of the Clanton FOP and was assigned a credit/debit card for authorized purchases.

Stilwell, who served as the city’s police chief since December 2008, was suspended without pay on April 29 following his arrest, according to Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver.

Keith Maddox has been named acting chief in Stilwell’s absence.

Maddox previously served as deputy chief.

Stilwell was originally booked in the Autauga County Jail, but has since been released from jail on a bond of $15,000.

Chilton County Circuit Judge John B. Bush filed an order on May 5 reassigning the case due to the recusal of Chilton County District Judge Rhonda J. Hardesty.

Bush assigned the case to Goggans, according to court records.