Thursday, December 06, 2007

Spiked Meatballs

A US counter-terrorism police officer who says he failed a drugs test because his wife spiked his meatballs with marijuana is suing to get his job back.

Anthony Chiofalo, of New York Police Department (NYPD), has asked Manhattan Supreme Court to challenge his firing.

He was suspended in 2005 after 22 years of service, for failing a random test.

His wife told investigators she had secretly drugged his meatballs hoping a failed test would force him to retire. NYPD said the story was "not credible".

Both Mr Chiofalo and his wife Catherine have passed lie detector tests about how the marijuana entered the police officer's system.

Back pain

Mrs Chiofalo told investigators she had put enough marijuana for six cigarettes in her meatball recipe in July 2005, according to court papers.

She testified at a hearing that she just wanted her husband "not to die of a heart attack or get killed" while still in service, the Associated Press news agency quotes the court papers as saying.

"I wanted him to be around to help raise my son," she said. She had reportedly expected him to retire in 2004 after 20 years in the force.

Mr Chiofalo said his wife had marijuana in the house because she used it to alleviate suffering caused by chronic back pain.

An administrative judge recommended that Mr Chiofalo be reinstated to the Joint Terrorism Task Force but Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly rejected that opinion and fired him.

Mr Chiofalo hopes the court will rule his dismissal unconstitutional and force the NYPD to re-hire him. Gets Sued

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