Officers disciplined after probe
Thursday March 24, 2011
PITTSFIELD -- A probe into illegal steroids has resulted in disciplinary action against two police officers, one of whom works for the Pittsfield Police Department.
Authorities have identified the city officer as David P. Kirchner, a former plainclothes investigator with the Pittsfield Police Drug Unit who recently was suspended. The other law enforcement official is a Massachusetts State Police trooper, whom officials have declined to identify.
No criminal charges have been filed against either officer.
The trooper, who is stationed at the Russell barracks and is believed to live in Berkshire County, was placed on "restricted duty." That means he was stripped of his service weapon and cruiser and placed on "desk duty," according to David Procopio, a state police spokesman in Framingham.
Procopio declined to comment on whether the trooper might be charged with a crime.
"I can't comment on an ongoing investigation," he said. "I will confirm that we do have an internal investigation into allegations involving a trooper and performance-enhancing drugs."
Kirchner was suspended in connection with an investigation by an outside agency, but now is "back on the street as a patrol officer," Pittsfield Police Chief Michael J. Wynn said Wednesday.
Pittsfield police launched an internal affairs investigation that resulted in the veteran officer's suspension after the department "received information from an outside law enforcement agency," Wynn said, declining to identify the agency and the information it provided.
Wynn also would not comment on the nature of the allegations against Kirchner.
Richard M. Dohoney, the city's attorney, declined to provide any details about the suspension, including its length or whether Kirchner was paid during the deferment.
"I don't comment on personnel matters," the attorney said in a phone message Wednesday.
A woman who answered the door at Kirchner's Lenox home Wednesday morning said he was not home. The officer did not return a phone call seeking comment.
It remains unclear if Kirchner or the trooper might face charges in connection with the probe, which involved agents from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and possibly other agencies. A phone call to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to gauge that agency's involvement was not returned.
U.S. Postal Inspector Bernadette Lundbohm, in a phone message Wednesday to The Eagle, said she was "not at liberty to talk about" ongoing investigations and urged a reporter to obtain a copy of the "police report."
The Eagle has formally requested information about Kirchner's case from Pittsfield officials, who are "working on getting [the newspaper] the information we are allowed to release," mayoral aide Patricia Farley-Bouvier said in a Wednesday email message.
No criminal complaints had been filed against Kirchner as of Wednesday afternoon, according to officials in the Central Berkshire District Court clerk's office. However, a source told The Eagle that Kirchner would not be charged in connection with the steroid probe.
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