Broward Sheriff Sergeant Turns in Fellow Officers in Lifestyle Rejuvenation Center Steroid Scandal

Lisa McElhaney whistleblower in Broward Sheriff's Office steroid scandal

Detective Sergeant Lisa McElhaney was identified as the whistleblower in the most recent “cops and steroids” scandal involving the Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BSO) according to the Broward-Palm Beach New Times. Sgt. McElhaney led the investigation of the Lifestyle Rejuvenation Center in 2007 that uncovered suspicions of illegal steroid use by law enforcement in South Florida. McElhaney reported officers to their supervisors at the Plantation Police Department and the Broward Sheriff’s Office (“A former cop tells how he and a fellow officer took steroids,” March 31).

McElhaney captured surveillance photos of Alu and Hommel at the clinic and reported them to supervisors at the Plantation department, Hommel says. Both officers were tested for steroids and came up positive, which triggered the internal affairs investigation. [...]

Hommel says that the 16 deputies who recently came under investigation for steroids were tied to the Lifestyle Rejuvenation case. BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal won’t confirm or deny that. In fact, BSO refuses to release the investigative report on the 2005 PowerMedica case in which the eight deputies were cleared.

The Plantation Police conducted an internal affairs investigation into steroid use by Officers Joseph Alu and Martin Hommel. Police Chief Larry Massey cleared the officers accused by BSO Det. McElhaney of illegal steroid use of any wrongdoing in December 2007 (“Plantation’s Police Chief Breaks Records Laws to Cover for Cops on Steroids,” March 24).

The reservations won out; the chief exonerated the officers. The gist of his reasoning was that he believed that the officers had legitimate prescriptions for the steroids and that steroids are “often dispensed for legitimate medical reasons.”

Massey then wrote of how steroids are “gaining widespread acceptance when administered as part of a medically supervised [deleted].”

The chief also wrote that he took a trip to the medical facility (the name was blacked out, of course) where both officers had obtained the steroids. He found that the building “has prominently displayed medical signage.” That wasn’t all that impressed the chief. He also wrote that the officers had “put forth an effort to appear in person at an actual brick and mortar medical facility, to establish a doctor/patient relationship and nothing highly irregular stands here…”

Sgt. McElhaney may have been disappointed by the outcome of the Plantation Police investigation, but she must have been furious at being stonewalled by the Broward Sheriff’s Office. The BSO refused to launch an internal affairs probe into the allegations of steroid use brought forth by Sgt. McElhaney for several months. McElhaney allegedly reported the case to the Broward State Attorney’s Office forcing the BSO to take action. The BSO launched their investigation into suspected steroid use by 16 BSO employees on February 20, 2009.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office has already cleared 9 of the 16 accused BSO employees of wrongdoing. If the seven remaing employees under investigation have tested positive for steriod use, it is likely that they will be exonerated if they obtained steroids with a prescription. Of course, this would come as no surprise since they purportedly obtained steroids from Tropical Pharmacy after obtaining prescriptions via a face-to-face consultation at Lifestyle Rejuvenation!

Eight BSO deputies were accused of illegal steroid use in 2005 when they were identified as customers of the compounding pharmacy PowerMedica by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami. The BSO cleared them of wrongdoing since they possessed prescriptions for steroids.

Sgt. Lisa McElhaney is a long-time veteran of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office with over 15 years experience in the field of pharmaceutical and designer drug diversion investigations. She is currently the supervisor of the Broward County Drug Diversion Unit. Sgt. McElhaney is also the National Secretary of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI).

Broward Sheriff's Office and anabolic steroid use by officers


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