“PORTVILLE — The officer who was in charge of the Portville Police Department has pleaded guilty to two noncriminal violations after being charged with two felony drug-related charges nearly a year ago.
Ronald Brisbee, 53, was arrested Sept. 23, 2015, on felony charges of fifth-degree criminal possession, sale of a controlled substance, and official misconduct, a misdemeanor. On Friday, he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and a state Public Health Law violation of possession of a controlled substance outside its original container to satisfy the charges.
He was given a conditional discharge on the disorderly conduct charge and an unconditional discharge on the state Health Law violation.
Brisbee has been on administrative leave from his village police post. Mayor Emily Woodhead assumed administrative duties after Brisbee’s arrest.
State police investigators alleged Brisbee illegally possessed and sold pain medication to another person while on duty on Sept. 22, 2015. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the state police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Community Narcotics Enforcement Team.
Special Prosecutor John Nelson of Ellicottville told the Times Herald on Tuesday “state police did an excellent job investigating the case,” but that there were “significant issues with the complainant that jeopardized further prosecution.” He did not elaborate.
The mayor advocated for Brisbee’s return, Nelson said. “The village wanted him back.”
“It came down to making sure justice was done,” Nelson said, “which would not be done with the issues with the complainant that arose.” The issues included “serious factual issues,” he added.
Until his arrest last September, Brisbee had a spotless record in the Portville Police Department, where he started as a part-time patrolman in 2002. In 2006, he became officer in charge.
Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Rieman recused herself from the Brisbee investigation and prosecution.
“(Brisbee) is a witness in some of our cases, so it’s inappropriate for us to prosecute him. It gives the appearance of impropriety. I’m out of the loop on this one,” Rieman replied when asked to comment on the plea agreement.
Nelson was named special prosecutor in the case.”
“Connors said. “There were gaps in her (the complainant’s) credibility.” He said there were “exaggerations and outright falsehoods made by the complainant.”
A cop lying about charges?
If that were you or I we sure the hell would not be getting a disorderly conduct
The complainant was a sworn officer of the court
His testimony is given the weight of truth
So who is lying here?
Someone should be in jail