County officers punished in steroids-buying scandal

November 16, 1993|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

Two county police officers charged administratively with using steroids for nonmedical purposes have been suspended without pay for 25 days, police sources and officials said yesterday.

Three others caught up in the same scandal have been ordered to receive counseling from their superiors, and punishments for three more have not been determined, according to Officer Terry Crowe, police spokesman.

Police sources identified John Church and James Cifala as the officers who were suspended by Chief Robert P. Russell.

The sources also identified Officers Tim Dailey, Gerry Jones, Scott Gall, Henry McClung and Sgt. Bret Ballam among the others facing administrative charges of getting and using steroids. The identity of an eighth officer could not be determined last night.

Officer Crowe would not identify the officers who had been disciplined.

The charges stem from the investigation and conviction of Dr. George Hebeka, 61, who was sentenced in May to home detention and 15 months of probation for one count of illegal distribution of steroids. He admitted prescribing the drug for police officers throughout metropolitan Baltimore.

Federal officials said Hebeka had earned a reputation as "the steroid doctor" who would sell prescriptions without medical need.

Officials said the police officers who bought steroid prescriptions from Hebeka would not face federal charges, but information on them was given to their agencies for administrative action.

Of the 26 officers who allegedly purchased steroids, three work for the state Department of Public Safety, two for Baltimore County, eight for Anne Arundel County, seven for Baltimore, four for the Baltimore County Sheriff's Department and two for the Maryland State Police. Two Baltimore Fire Department employees also were named as customers of Dr. Hebeka.

According to police officials, Chief Russell considered several factors, including the officers' use of the drug before 1991, when steroids were designated as a narcotic.

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