Former Clanton police chief convicted for ethics violations, fraudulent use of credit card

Published 5:19 pm Thursday, April 19, 2018

From staff reports

Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the conviction April 19 of a former Clanton police chief for violation of the ethics law and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Brian Allan Stilwell pleaded guilty to the felony charges, according to a press release from Marshall’s office.

During the trial, Marshall’s Criminal Trials Division presented evidence that Stilwell took money from the local Chilton County chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police by using the organization’s bank debit card without proper authorization and using the funds for his personal gain.

The primary use of the FOP’s funds was for its Operation Santa Claus program to provide presents for needy children. Evidence was also presented that he used his position as chief of police to unlawfully take money, which had been condemned and forfeited to the city for law enforcement purposes, from the Clanton Police Department.

The crimes occurred between 2010 and 2015 when Stilwell was police chief of Clanton and treasurer of the Chilton County FOP. The Criminal Trials Division presented evidence to a Chilton County grand jury resulting in his indictment on Feb. 2, 2017.

“When a police chief breaks the law it is a terrible betrayal that cuts deeply into the trust of the citizens he was sworn to protect and of his fellow law enforcement officers,” said Marshall. “In this case, the law enforcement community of Clanton and Chilton County came together and stood shoulder to shoulder with us to bring justice to their people, to restore their faith and to hold Brian Stilwell to account for his crimes. I am proud of the outstanding work by my Criminal Trials Division and everyone who assisted to bring this case to a successful conclusion.”

Sentencing is set for Aug. 28 at 9 a.m. Stilwell faces penalties of two to 20 years for the ethics conviction for use of official position for personal gain, a class B felony; and one to 10 years for fraudulent use of a credit/debit card, a class C felony.

Marshall commended Assistant Attorneys General John Kachelman III and Chris Moore of his Criminal Trials Division. He thanked the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Clanton Police Department, the Chilton County Sheriff’s Office and the Chilton County District Attorney’s Office for invaluable assistance.