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Cheers Bar owner challenges U.D. top cop to polygraph test

BYLINE: LINDA REILLY, Times Correspondent
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Upper Darby, PA

2011-07-19_Cheers Bar owner challenges_01
Cheers Bar owner Robert Herdelin speaks outside of the Upper Darby Police Department on Monday.

UPPER DARBY — The owner of Cheers Bar, armed with a bullhorn and a Ziploc bag containing $8,000 in $20, $10 and $5 bills, challenged the police superintendent to come outside and undergo a polygraph test noon Monday in front of the police station.

The showdown between Robert Herdelin and Superintendent Michael Chitwood didn’t happen.

Chitwood was involved in a homicide investigation and out of the building and had no intention of meeting the man.

Herdelin, wearing a three piece, pinstripe suit in the sweltering heat, announced he was a 60-year township resident paying $80,000 annually in taxes, and wanted to know what really happened to the $8,000 missing money that was ordered returned to a homeowner by a judge.

“The money should have been put into an interest-bearing account,” Herdelin said. “Instead, it was placed in the police station safe and when ordered to return the money, there was nothing there. The superintendent and the captain (George Rhoades) want you to believe the $8,000 was burned up. I don’t believe it. I’m a taxpayer. It was all of your (tax) money that had to be used to reimburse the $8,000,” he said to a handful of people who stood there watching. “The mayor (Thomas Micozzie) has done nothing to get the township’s $8,000 back.”

Chitwood had no intention of meeting with Herdelin, who was notified by mail the chief had previously been advised to have no contact with the man due to a pending civil lawsuit charging slander by the Cheers owner.

“I am not going to be part of his circus,” Chitwood said. “If Mr. Herdelin has any information he should bring it forward. I welcome any information he would have. At my request, the district attorney (G. Michael Green) is investigating the missing money. I can’t speak for what the D.A. is doing. The D.A.’s office has interviewed everybody involved with the money.”

Township attorney Suzanne McDonough sent Herdelin a letter dated July 15 after Chitwood received the polygraph challenge letter.

“(Chitwood) has been advised that he is not permitted to speak with you as you are represented by counsel,” McDonough wrote in the letter. “I am sure that your attorney has advised you that you are not permitted to communicate with Superintendent Chitwood, as well.”

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