So friendly that he spoke to me about a defamation suit filed against him by multimillionaire Robert Herdelin in Delaware County's Common Pleas Court.
Every public official knows that when you're sued you're supposed to drop, roll and cover, defer questions to your lawyer. That's not how Chitwood rolls.
Instead, the lean 67-year-old lawman tells me, "I like Bob Herdelin. I gave him a citizens award for the capture of a wanted fugitive" in 2008.
I knew that, because it was mentioned in the lawsuit that's been bouncing around the judicial system for more than a year. From what I can tell, the two guys liked each other, are cut from similar cloth.
But . . . Herdelin owns the trouble-plagued Cheers bar, at Market and 69th Street, in what is Upper Darby's Times Square.
Cops have been called "hundreds" of times, Chitwood says. Herdelin agrees, but says that the cops were called because they requested to be called at the first sign of trouble, and trouble likes to hang its hat in Cheers.
In March 2010, after a man was shot to death in Cheers, Chitwood was quoted as calling the bar a "criminal enterprise." Herdelin, 70, took that personally. As the owner, he felt that Chitwood was calling him a criminal. So he sued.
I thought that what public officials say in the performance of their duties protects them from lawsuits. Herdelin's lawyer says no.
"The last person with total immunity was King George," Brian McVan says. While public officials can talk about the facts of the case, he says, they have to do so with common sense, fair play and honesty. (Chitwood's attorney didn't return my call for comment.)
Chitwood crossed a line, McVan says, adding that Chitwood refused to issue a clarification excluding Herdelin from any criminal conduct.
Chitwood doesn't remember being asked to do that, but says, "I never said anything privately or publicly about Bob Herdelin. He has taken exception to the fact that I called his place a criminal enterprise. I based that on a series of incidents that occurred in there - homicides, drug transactions, shootings, over a period of time."
This case squats in a gray area between the First Amendment's right to free speech and a prohibition against false accusations. I can see where Chitwood meant the bar, not the owner. I can also see how Herdelin felt that he was put in the bull's-eye.
Last week, Delco Common Pleas Judge Chad Kenney dismissed the suit. I placed a couple of calls to the judge to ask about the point of law that allowed him to toss it, but he didn't respond.
Herdelin's lawyer filed an appeal, which means that the case goes on.
Both Chitwood and Herdelin are good guys with strong egos.
If Chitwood didn't mean to imply that Herdelin is a criminal, he should say that publicly.
If he does that, Herdelin should drop the suit.
Then they should go out for a buddy beer. I'll buy.
But not at Cheers. It's closed.
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