Kenmore police chief Peter Breitnauer has been arrested Friday and charged with criminal possession of hydrocodone.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says agents questioned Breitnauer about allegations that he had been diverting prescription pills from a medication drop box in the Kenmore police station. Breitnauer then admitted to taking hydrocodone for his personal use, showing agents a closet in his office where he had stashed more than 100 pills.
Breitenauer admitted to agents he is addicted to hydrocodone.
“It’s a sad day,” stated U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr., in a statement. “Chief Breitenauer has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a respected member of Western New York’s law enforcement community. Today’s events certainly do not erase all the good that the Chief has done during his tenure. Rather, they highlight the devastating and destructive power of opioids and underscore the fact that anyone can become ensnared in their allure. There is absolutely no evidence suggesting that the Chief ever distributed any of the drugs he is alleged to have diverted.”
Breitenauer appeared in federal court Friday and was released on conditions, according to Kennedy's office. The charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.