News
December 7, 2018

Lincoln Police Officer Loses Lawsuit Claiming Illegal Steroid Search

Lincoln Police Officer Loses Lawsuit Claiming Illegal Steroid Search

Lincoln Police officer Tim Cronin was falsely accused of using illegal anabolic steroids by his boss.

Tim Cronin, who currently works as an investigator with the Lincoln Police Department in Nebraska, lost his federal civil rights lawsuit. Cronin said his civil rights were violated when police detained him while they searched his home, vehicle, mobile phone and forced him to give blood and urine samples. But the judge did not agree.

Cronin and fellow LPD officer Josh Fullerton were targeted in a criminal investigation initiated by Lincoln Police Chief Jim Peschong in September 2015. Chief Peschong took action against Cronin and Fullerton at the insistence of Cronin’s boss, Captain Chris Peterson.

Cronin and Fullerton purchased dietary supplements at a sports nutrition store called “Supzilla” in Powell, Ohio. The owner of Supzilla was apparently under investigation for steroid trafficking.

Captain Chris Peterson may have launched steroid investigation to retaliate against Officer Tim Cronin

Captain Peterson used that information as the basis for the investigation. However, the real motive for Captain Peterson’s eagerness to launch the steroid investigation may have been retaliation against Cronin. Just a few months earlier, Cronin had filed a discrimination and harassment complaint against Captain Peterson.

Captain Peterson, as the head of the LPD Narcotics Unit, told the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that Cronin and his friend were using steroids. Local and federal agents executed a search warrant to search Cronin’s home, SUV and smart phone device. They also obtained a warrant requiring the accused officers to provide blood and urine samples as the local hospital.

Investigators could not find any illegal anabolic steroids when they searched Conin’s home and vehicle. It turned out that neither Cronin or Fullerton were using any type of illegal anabolic steroid. They were only using dietary supplements purchased from the Supzilla sports nutrition store.

Cronin and Fullerton were both cleared in the federal steroid investigation and the internal department investigation. No criminal charges were ever filed.

Cronin and Fullerton filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against both Chief Peschong and Captain Peterson as well as Assistant Chief Brian Jackson, Legal Advisor Tonya Peters, Sgt. William Koepke, Sgt. Daren Reynolds and the City of Lincoln.

Cronin and Fullerton alleged that their constitutional rights were violated.

Senior United States District Judge Richard Kopf dismissed most of the cases in January 2018. Judge Kopf ruled against Cronin on the remaining cases this month.

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