PORTVILLE, NY - A small town police chief in Cattaraugus County is back on the job according to his attorney, nearly a year after he was arrested on drug charges.
Ronald Brisbee was allowed to plead down to lesser charges, which allowed him to keep his position.
Brisbee, who had been the Officer in Charge of the police force serving the village of less than 4,000 residents since 2006, was accused last year of giving some expired prescription pain killers to an informant in exchange for information
For that state police charged him with fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, sale of a controlled substance, which are both felonies --and official misconduct, a misdemeanor.
Brisbee was later indicted on the charges by a grand jury.
However, his attorney says after conducting his own investigation, he was able to convince state police and the special prosecutor assigned to the case, that there were defects in the charges and that they could not stand.
“In addition, we did an analysis of the alleged drug and showed through that analysis that it wouldn’t meet the standard for prosecution,” said attorney Terrence Connors told WGRZ-TV. “On top of that, and most important, we did a background information search about the person that made the complaint , the witness, and showed that in some cases her claims were exaggerated and in some instances, outright false,” Connors said.
Connors called that last factor “the turning point”, which lead to a disposition where his client would plead guilty to a state Public Health Law violation of possession of a controlled substance outside of its original container, and disorderly conduct.
Both the charges are non- criminal violations, no more serious in a legal sense, than a traffic ticket, thus allowing Brisbee to continue his law enforcement career.
Conors said his client, who was put on administrative leave when he was arrested last September, has had a “difficult year”, but is relieved to get the matter behind him and get back to work.