In Sept. 17 Issue
The criminal charges filed against local pharmacist Leon Grider were dismissed Monday by Special Judge Gary Payne.
That case was an allegation of eight counts of trafficking in controlled substance and seven counts of bribery of a witness or witnesses.
The charges resulted from an undercover operation conducted by the Russell Springs Police Department and the Kentucky State Police in 2003 through 05.
Payne stated that he dismissed the charges based on the Attorney General Office's inability to provide copies of records seized from the Grider Pharmacies in a 2007 search related to an allegation of Medicare fraud.
The defense contended that they could not defend against the charges from 2005 without the records seized in 2007, filing a motion to that effect last week.
The judge had ordered the over 112 boxes of records copied for the defense before the trial in this case set for next week.
"The big issue is not being prepared for trial on the 21st since that was when it was set. So based upon that I am going to sustain the motion and dismiss the case," Payne said in court Monday at 11:13 a.m. "I know there could be another indictment I can't control that but as far as this case I'm going to dismiss it."
"I'm happy about it," said Leon Grider. "Its been a long time coming."
He said the records taken in the searches had "cleaned me out."
Girder said that the business records taken included their charge accounts, which meant that they could not collect over $100,000 in debts owed them.
"We're happy," agreed his wife, Anna Mae Grider. "It has been a long and expensive trial, and quite unnecessary."
He explained their contention that the indictment had come because of a lawsuit against the police chief and a state police detective he'd filed the week before he was indicted.
The trial, had been set for next Monday had been moved by Payne to Wayne County, based on a change of venue motion by the prosecution.
There has been no official response from the prosecution on this dismissal, however Police Chief Joseph M. Irvin has responded to what he is hearing in the community.
Irvin said he's been asked by citizens why the prosecution didn't have evidence ready in the case.
"That was not evidence in our case in fact it isn't evidence in any case," Irvin said. "We've had our evidence together for some time. This is other records seized in a completely different case brought by a different agency years after our evidence was collected and our case was filed."
He was also anxious to correct some recent statements of opinion.
"This dismissal was not a finding of innocence, no one was 'cleared of any wrongdoing,' as some have said," Irvin said.
He added that Grider still faces similar charges in Adair Circuit Court. The pharmacy's federal drug license is being reviewed and could be revoked based on the allegations in all three cases, as well as administrative irregularities.