Cifala Involved With Steroid Scandal In 1993
Long before Lt. James Cifala became involved in a sexting relationship wiht a 16 year old girl, he was involved with another type of behavior unbecoming of an officer–steroids.
According to an archived article at The Baltimore Sun, Cifala and 7 other officers were administratively charged with illegally obtaining steroids from a physician who was found guilty of prescribing the drugs for non-medical reasons.
While the doctor was charged under federal statutes, the officers were not and their names referred to the department for handling. The Anne Arundel County Police Department charged Cifala with conduct unbecoming of an officer. With an internal investigation, Cifala had the choice to face an administrative panel or to accept the punishment handed out by (then) Chief Robert P. Russell. According to The Sun, the punishment ranged from a letter of reprimand to dismissal.
Since it was an internal investigation, any punishment is considered a personnel issue and will not be released. However, he obviously was not dismissed.
Quite likely, this fact played a part in the decision of federal Magistrate Beth Genser when she ordered him held in custody until his trial citing he was a danger to the community. “I find the weight of the evidence to be substantial, if not overwhelming,” Judge Beth Gesner said.
It was also announced in his hearing today, that the victim met Cifala and was indeed an employee of his at the Rita’s Italian Ice store he owns with his wife on Mayo Road in Edgewater.