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Police Chief resigns hours before charged in crime | Crime

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Police Chief resigns hours before charged in crime
Crime, News, Politics
CHANDLER, OK -- The former Chandler Police Chief was in Lincoln County court Wednesday, accused of failing to file a report following a single-car injury accident involving him and his wife. Kevin Towler, who resigned Tuesday, pleaded "no contest" to one count of Failure to Report a Personal Injury Accident. The law requires injury accidents are reported, in part, to ensure the driver is not intoxicated.

The Lincoln County District Attorney disagrees with Towler's account of who was driving.

In April, Towler and his wife were riding in a vehicle that skidded off a county road and struck a tree between the towns of Meeker and Sparks.

Towler accepted a plea agreement which allowed him to resign as Chandler's police chief in exchange for being charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Sources say Towler's wife was flown by helicopter to a hospital following the accident.

So why didn't he report it?

"I can't go back to that," said his attorney, Irven Box. "I'm just saying we entered a no contest plea and we'll stand on that."

Box would only say that resigning as police chief would keep Towler from going through the long ordeal of a trial.

Towler reportedly said his wife was driving that night because he had been drinking at a Shawnee bowling alley.

District Attorney Richard Smotherman disagrees.

"I think the physical evidence that we got from the scene and from the injuries to the wife, clearly indicate that he was behind the wheel," Smotherman says.

"Well if that were the case, I would assume there would have been a DUI charge filed," Box responded. "The only charge filed was not reporting an accident."

However, Smotherman says they won't ever know if Towler was intoxicated because he didn't follow the law by staying at the scene and submitting to drug and alcohol testing.

"None of that he did," Smotherman says, "which left law enforcement in a bind as far as their ability to correctly investigate the crime."

Towler, who was promoted to Chief eight years ago, received a six-month deferred sentence.

Smotherman says the resignation was the best solution for the community.

Towler's next court date is set for December 27.

Assistant Chief Matt Mattheyer will serve as Chandler's interim Police Chief.
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