The woman is a police informant who turned in Pisano, according to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. His pursuit of the woman is described as “possible stalking.”
Pisano’s attorney rejects that suggestion. “We adamantly deny any allegation of stalking,” attorney Michael Gottlieb said in an e-mail this week in response to questions from the South Florida Times.
Pisano, 50, was arrested a block from the Fort Lauderdale City Hall while working the midnight shift on Dec. 2. He was in full uniform, wearing his gun and sitting in his patrol car at the time of his arrest.
He was charged with one count each of armed delivery of oxycodone (Percocet) and armed delivery of hydrocodone (Vicodin). He is also facing one count of possession of hydrocodone, which officers allegedly found during a search of his patrol vehicle after he was taken into custody.
Police are not releasing further details of the case.
“All that we are aware of is that he provided five prescription pills to the subject,” police spokesman Det. Travis Mandell said. “There was no money exchanged.”
Sources say Pisano pursued the woman and offered to provide her with the drugs in an effort to win her affection. That, sources said, was why the arrest report lists the caper as a “transaction” but without providing specifics.
The police report acknowledged the information leading to his arrest came from an informant, who is described as “trustworthy and reliable,” but makes no mention of gender. The informant told contacts in the department about Pisano’s offer and the sting that resulted in his arrest was arranged.
“Ask the police to divulge the identity of this known informant. You can judge for yourself her credibility and whether or not you believe her to be a truthful person,” Gottlieb said.
Fort Lauderdale hired Pisano in August 2009 and pays him $77,771.20 annually. He came to the department with a reputation as a good cop and a public corruption fighter at his previous job as a police officer in Parsippany, N.J., according to news reports.
As a sergeant on the Parsippany force, Pisano reported fellow officers who he suspected were stealing clothes donated to charity boxes and selling them for a profit. His concerns prompted criminal investigations, but none of his colleagues faced criminal charges and he became an outcast within the department.
He later complained of being threatened, harassed and assaulted by fellow officers and eventually filed a lawsuit and won a $1.1 million settlement in 2003.
Pisano has posted bail and his case will be heard in the courtroom of Circuit Court Judge Thomas Lynch.
Gottlieb said he intends to vigorously defend the charges and hinted this may be another instance of Pisano being targeted.
“As far as defense strategy is concerned, all I am willing to say at this point is based upon my information thus far I believe my client to be innocent,” Gottlieb said. “As a law enforcement officer for more than 25 years, Kevin Pisano has battled corruption on numerous occasions; I firmly believe this will be yet another opportunity for him to do so.”
*Pictured above is Fort Lauderdale police officer Kevin Pisano.