Martinsville police chief arrested on theft, official misconduct charges
MARTINSVILLE, Ind. – The chief of the Martinsville Police Department has been arrested on theft and official misconduct charges.
Indiana State Police say Chief Matthew D. Long was arrested on a warrant on Wednesday following an investigation into alleged irregularities about sick days and pay.
State police say the Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office asked them and the Indiana State Board of Accounts in January to investigate allegations against Long.
“The findings of that investigation were taken to a special prosecutor and probable cause was found for the issuance of a warrant for the arrest of Long,” state police wrote in a press release.
Police say Long turned himself in to detectives Wednesday afternoon and he’s cooperating with investigators. He was then booked into the Morgan County Jail, but has since bonded out.
Court documents show the City of Martinsville has a policy which allows officers to accrue up to 110 days of sick time. Sick leave hours are accrued at a rate of 9 days per year. After 110 days have been collected, any additional time will be paid on this schedule: 1-3 days to be paid at $75 per day; 4-6 days at $85 per day; and 7-9 days at $95 per day.
During 2014 and 2015, Long is accused of using some of his “sick bank” hours, reducing his total to 738. Court documents say Long would have had to use no sick hours during 2016 and only two hours duing 2017 to be eligible for paid sick days.
Long allegedly made adjustments to the sick days tracking system, and then submitted a pay voucher at the end of 2017 to be paid for sick days, resulting in a $1,530 check to which he was not entitled.
Long’s arrest comes a little over a month after he was placed on paid administrative leave. Roger Wiltermood is serving as interim chief.
Long’s attorney issued this statement:
“My client denies these allegations. At no time did Chief Long intentionally engage in any criminal or knowingly improper conduct. We look forward to a thorough review of the true facts of this case.”
Martinsville Mayor Shannon Kohl issued this statement:
I recently learned that Chief Matt Long turned himself in to authorities because of pending charges for theft and official misconduct. We believe in strong leadership in Martinsville and expect our leaders to lead by example. If these allegations prove true, this is a failure of leadership and trust.
While I am deeply saddened to learn of these charges against someone I initially believed to be a great leader for our police department, my administration will fully cooperate with prosecutors as this matter unfolds and will support making the people of Martinsville whole.
Further, this matter has brought to light the ways we can improve our internal processes, which is the action we are currently taking. We can only move forward to continue to strive for a better Martinsville.