Watch CBS News

Falls Township Police Chief Nelson Whitney Scheduled To Answer Questions After Being Placed On Administrative Leave

FALLS TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) -- The attorney for Falls Township's police chief says his client is scheduled to answer questions after being placed on paid administrative leave more than two months ago.

"It's serious based on what the allegations are," said Scott Pollins, the attorney for Nelson Whitney.

Days before Whitney is set to answer questions about his performance of duties, the attorney for the Falls Township police chief says his client is ready.

"We feel like once Chief Whitney is able to speak and explain his version of everything and his truth that they are going to see that that is the truth," Pollins said.

The 33-year veteran of the force took over as chief on Jan. 1, 2021, after serving as interim chief for four months following the previous chief's retirement. Less than a year and a half later, he was put on paid administrative leave back on April 26.

"How he ran the police department was different than the prior chief did and I think people that have been there a long time it rubbed people the wrong way," Pollins said.

Township officials have declined multiple requests for comment and did not answer questions from residents during a public meeting back on May 2.

"He was placed on administrative leave for a vote of no confidence?" a resident said during that meeting.

"We're not commenting on that," a township official responded. "We don't comment on personnel matters. If there comes a time when there is going to be some action taken, that will be discussed in a public meeting and the board will then comment at that time."

The department has faced a number of lawsuits and complaints alleging harassment, retaliation, and intimidation in recent years. Six current or former Falls Township employees have filed litigation since 2019.

"I think it may turn out that there are some substance to allegations but not ones against Chief Whitney -- against others actually," Pollins said.

It's still unclear when this investigation will be completed. Lt. Henry Ward is in charge in the interim.

We reached out to the Falls Police Association, as well as the attorney representing three of the plaintiffs. We have yet to hear back from either.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.