Perry Twp. Police Chief Timothy W. Littleton Jr. resigned from the Enon police force in May 2016 rather than be terminated for lying to a superior officer about kissing a woman, according personnel records obtained by this news organization and confirmed by Littleton.
In March, Littleton was named Perry Twp.’s full-time chief at a salary of $52,000 — against the wishes of some township residents. Littleton became interim chief in October.
While interim chief, Littleton was cited in a Nov. 20, 2018, crash involving his township cruiser. A crash report said Littleton drove through a red light and hit a 31-year-old in his vehicle. The other driver suffered broken bones. Littleton had a concussion.
Perry Twp. Trustees board president Dale Seim stood by the chief, calling Littleton’s work “wonderful” and saying he did good work before in Perry Twp. when he was an unpaid auxiliary officer from 2010 to 2013. He said Littleton mentioned an “Enon situation” during his job-interview process.
Some residents in the rural township in western Montgomery County are upset Littleton was hired, and question the process.
“The township trustees are, in my opinion, in breach of duty to the office they hold in failing to run a complete and thorough background check on the police chief they hired,” Perry Twp. resident Bonnie Bertelson said. “Had they done so, I believe they would have saved themselves — and the community – a great deal of unease.”
Brad Warvel, a fifth-generation Perry Twp. resident, submitted to the trustees the letter explaining an Enon police lieutenant’s reasoning for recommending Littleton’s firing.
“There is a reason Littleton has never held a full-time position until Perry hired him, many stories but not all documented,” Warvel said.
A letter dated May 6, 2016, from Enon police Lt. Mike Holler to Enon Chief Lew Wilcox referenced Littleton’s “lack of honesty.”
Holler wrote they discussed “the lies he told about seeing (name redacted), Officer Littleton stated he did see her one time at work.”
The letter said Littleton denied any contact with the woman before Holler provided photos of Littleton kissing her.
“I was going to court that morning,” Littleton said in an interview with the Dayton Daily News. “I wasn’t even on duty and I gave a girl a kiss in the parking lot. I don’t know why (the photos) made it back to the lieutenant.”
The middle section of the letter is completely redacted.
“Obviously there’s more to the story,” Littleton said. “But, you know, what’s in the middle of that I don’t know because when I asked for a copy of my own record, this is what I got.”
The letter resumes with Holler writing that Littleton — who started in Enon in March 2015 — admitted a note was forged.
Holler wrote Littleton should be fired immediately.
“I was blindsided that morning,” Littleton said. “I didn’t want to be terminated or be fired from a job. So I took the offer to go ahead and resign.”
Speaking in general terms, Wilcox said other than committing a crime, there isn’t much worse than a police officer lying to a superior.
“Sometimes you just have to tell the truth, regardless of how it comes out,” said Wilcox, who spent nearly 40 years with German Twp. police before his Enon job.
Public records provided by Enon included Littleton’s resignation letter.
Due to “some personal matters I feel it would be best to resign from my position to take care of some personal matters,” Littleton wrote. “Thanks for the opportunity.”
An Enon performance evaluation also said Littleton graded “unsatisfactory” in a category called “exercises good judgment.”
Perry Twp. trustees Ron Price and Melissa Mears didn’t respond to messages seeking comment about Littleton’s hiring.
When asked if a background was done on Littleton, Seim said: “Uh, yeah, we did some. Yeah. Mmm. Certainly. Yeah.”
Asked if Perry Twp. officials called Littleton’s former employers, Seim said: “Sure, things like that. Yeah, we did checkups different various ways, I mean, about him, absolutely.”
Asked if the township called Enon, Seim at first said no then later added he wasn’t sure.
Seim said Littleton explained his exit from Enon.
“There (were) some questionable things about that in doing some checking we did whether Enon was actually legal about what some of the things they were doing,” Seim said. “So that made us think, hmm, really?”
Littleton is a 2005 Carlisle High School graduate who took classes at Sinclair Community College and Excelsior College.
Littleton was in the U.S. Army National Guard for about eight years and deployed to Iraq. He’s worked in Perry Twp., Mechanicsburg, Enon, Mowrystown and Port William.
Littleton said he was dismissed from the Dayton Police Academy in 2013 after a misunderstanding because his Army JAG officer said he didn’t have to disclose medical information about his military retirement in job applications.
“They said that my actions as a Dayton officer (were) unbecoming and they let me go while I was in the academy,” Littleton said, adding there was an incident at a shooting range when he was next to a fellow cadet.
“She accidentally discharged her weapon and it shot the 2x4 that divided me and her,” Littleton said, “and it made me very anxious because of her not knowing how to properly handle a firearm while we were on the range and shooting towards my direction.”
Dayton police said Littleton’s records were destroyed per its records retention policy.
Seim said he’s “very happy” with Littleton’s performance, that the new chief is good with paperwork and that Littleton’s K-9 Kai — a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois — is a good asset.
As for the letter alleging Littleton lied to a superior officer, Seim said: “Paper lies real still. You can write down anything on a piece of paper, you know, and is it true or isn’t it true?”
Moving forward, Littleton said he’s added one full-time officer and is close to hiring another to give the township 24-hour coverage five days per week.
Littleton said residents shouldn’t judge him by his Enon personnel records.
“If I was talking to the people of the township, you know, there is more to this story,” Littleton said. “But this right here, this one letter, doesn’t dictate my future, doesn’t dictate who I am.”