Officer Accused of Stealing Hundreds of Pills - NECN

Officer Accused of Stealing Hundreds of Pills

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017)

    A Plainville officer was put on paid leave last year after being accused of taking hundreds of prescription pills while on the scene of a suicide.

    Plainville Police Chief Matthew Catania recommends terminating Sgt. Michael Bisnov from the police force, based on the final report of the internal affairs investigation, obtained by NBC Connecticut.

    Bisnov was one of the officers who responded to a suspected suicide on January 18, 2016, after a family friend of 54-year-old Frank Iris called 911 for a well being check.

    The report said he was the scene supervisor.

    The responding officers found Iris’ body inside his apartment. Scattered nearby were 21 bottles of prescription pills, including painkillers.

    In video obtained by the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters, Bisnov is seen carrying a yellow bag into the police station after responding to the scene. The final investigation report stated the bag contained prescription pills found at Iris’ residence.

    “(Bisnov) is then observed dumping the contents of the bag into the prescription drop box, without properly logging the medications as evidence,” according to the author of that report Lt. Nick Mullins.

    The report also states Bisnov took a stop in between to the men’s locker room

    “Bisnov opened sealed prescription bottles and at some point in time, an oxycodone 5 mg pill inside one of the bottles fell on the floor without his knowledge. The best evidence is that during this time, Sgt. Bisnov took a substantial amount of Frank Iris' medication (pills) and mixed together some of the remaining medications prior to disposing the rest in the prescription drop box," Mullins wrote.

    The officer was put on paid leave eight days after the suicide of Frank Iris. Bisnov denied taking any of the 230 pills that went missing for his personal use. When specifically asked if he stole the medication, the former officer’s response was, “No, I didn’t,” according to documents contained within the report.

    Bisnov told investigators he disposed of the pills at the request of Iris’ family, however, the victim’s mother, Carolyn, said the officer offered to get rid of the pills himself.

    “(Bisnov) said he was going to put the medications in a safe place” Carolyn told NBC Connecticut.

    When investigators pulled Bisnov’s prescription history from the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, they found medications that matched pills gathered at the suicide scene.

    The internal affairs report concluded Bisnov violated nine sections of the department's code of conduct, violating rules and regulations, including truthfulness, conduct unbecoming an officer and falsifying records. No criminal charges have been filed against Bisnov, of Meriden.

    The town council will meet next month to consider Bisnov’s future with the department.

    In the meantime, Bisnov is still earning his $83,000 annual salary from the sidelines.

    The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters requested and obtained the most recent direct deposit slips from Town Manager, Robert E. Lee.

    Lee told NBC Connecticut, “This kind of issue takes time to resolve and we are cognizant of not wasting taxpayer money. It was important for us to be as thorough as possible because these types of issues don’t necessarily end, even if a decision is made to let Sgt. Bisnov go.”

    NBC Connecticut reached out to both Sgt. Bisnov and the police union multiple times but have not heard back.

    State police are also investigating this case.