Veteran Arundel police lieutenant accused of altering prescription

Officer charged with fraud, suspended from duties

October 28, 1999|By Devon Spurgeon | Devon Spurgeon,SUN STAFF

A veteran Anne Arundel County police lieutenant was suspended from duty yesterday and accused of falsifying a prescription for Ritalin, the Police Department confirmed.

Lt. Robert Tice, 44, a shift commander in the Northern District, was charged with two counts of prescription fraud after a pharmacist notified police Friday that Tice had altered his Ritalin prescription, according to police.

Lt. Jeff Kelly, a police department spokesman, confirmed that a criminal summons was issued to Tice and that he was suspended -- with pay -- pending an internal investigation.

Yesterday morning, Tice met at the Northern District station with his commander, Capt. Harry Collier, and David Shipley, the head of the Criminal Investigations Division. He was told to turn in his gun and badge, Kelly confirmed.

Ritalin is often prescribed to treat hyperactive children. It can also be prescribed for depression. The drug stimulates the central nervous system, increases concentration and helps control impulsive behavior.

Yesterday, Tice, who has been on the police force 16 years, said an action on his part had been "a mistake." He also said that he has "an issue" that has to be dealt with, and "will take responsibility" for his actions. He did not elaborate.

Tice -- who has run the child abuse investigation division -- said that the matter was a "one-time" occurrence. His physician -- noting patient confidentiality -- did not disclose to police why Tice was prescribed the medication or how long he had been taking it, police sources said.

Sources close to the investigation said yesterday that Tice had augmented the prescription to obtain the medication for his personal use.

Last night, Tice said that in his career he has never "charged anyone that I did not think should be charged." He added that the matter "is tabloid news."

Officers in Northern District were told yesterday that Tice "went home sick." But word that he had been suspended was put anonymously on an Internet Web site used by county police officers.

Tice said he has been under stress because of unspecified "personal problems" and the bitter negotiations between the Teamsters and Fraternal Order of Police -- which are both vying to represent patrol officers in bargaining talks.

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