Federal prosecutors and the attorney for a former Franklin Police Department lieutenant who admitted tipping off a physician to a drug investigation against him are requesting probation for the former officer.
Vickie Kristiansen, 43, is set to be sentenced Sept. 23 in U.S. District Court after pleading guilty to a charge of conspiring to obstruct an official proceeding.
Legal filings in the case identify the physician as Dr. John Doe, but Kristiansen testified in the 2018 trial of Dr. Roy Reynolds, a Franklin physician who was convicted of 15 counts of illegal distribution of controlled substances and is now serving a 50-month prison sentence.
Federal prosecutors claimed Kristiansen participated in a local drug task force in 2013 when she became aware of a federal investigation into the doctor and met with him to inform him of the investigation and advise him on what steps he could take to avoid criminal charges, including shredding documents, not taking on any new patients and avoiding putting his trash on the curb until trash day in order to stymie undercover investigators.
“The defendant promised to inform Dr. Doe if she learned ‘something major’ was going to happen concerning the investigation,” Kristiansen’s plea agreement said. “The defendant emphasized the importance of the secrecy of their conversation, stating she could lose her job for tipping off Dr. Doe.”
In sentencing memorandums filed last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gregory and Kristiansen’s attorney, David Broderick, formally requested Kristiansen be placed on probation.
Both attorneys noted the former officer has no prior criminal history and is the sole caretaker for a child with special needs.
Gregory argued that, while Kristiansen’s conduct was illegal, the doctor was still charged and convicted, so the obstruction “did not have a great impact.”
“Other than the defendant’s breach of the public trust, there was no measurable harm from her conduct,” Gregory said in her filing. “She had no personal ties to Dr. Doe and no incentive to tip him off with respect to the investigation. She appears to have told Dr. Doe about the investigation because she disagreed with the investigation and felt that Dr. Doe was being treated unfairly.”
Broderick’s argument highlighted Kristiansen’s community service both in uniform as a police officer and as a volunteer for several organizations, including Hope Harbor, Curbside Ministries, the Barren River Humane Society and HOTEL INC.
“She has spent several years in investigations working with abused children and then as a school resource officer, working with children, devoting her career to the bettering of lives of children,” Broderick said in his argument.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.