NEW YORK – So much for the meatball defense.
A veteran counterterrorism detective's claims that he flunked a drug test because his wife served him marijuana-spiked meatballs "simply weren't credible," and he has been fired by the New York Police Department, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Thursday.
With the dismissal, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly rejected an earlier recommendation by an administrative judge that the detective, Anthony Chiofalo, be reinstated. Kelly has final say on firings.
An attorney for Chiofalo did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment.
Chiofalo, a 22-year-veteran assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, was suspended without pay in 2005 after a random drug test found marijuana in his system. The officer denied ever using drugs and demanded a hearing.
During an investigation, his wife said she had secretly substituted marijuana for oregano in her meatball recipe in hopes of forcing him to leave police work.
The detective's lawyers presented evidence that she had passed a lie-detector test, and offered testimony from a toxicologist that the excuse was valid.