Stamford police officer accused of buying stolen items

The Stamford Police Commission put off a decision Monday on whether to fire a 22-year veteran accused of buying stolen merchandise.

The complainant in the case said he would buy high-end products, such as grills and power tools, using a fraudulent credit card and then sell them to Officer Joe Rainone at nearly one-fourth of the retail value. Police say the complainant is an admitted drug user who is serving time at the prison in Enfield.

Lt. Frank Cronin, of the Stamford Police Internal Affairs department, was able to interview the complainant in prison.

?The prisoner relayed the following information that he, in fact, did sell stolen merchandise that he bought with somebody else?s credit card fraudulently to three police officers. In this case, Joe Rainone,? Cronin said.

The complainant also told police he used the money from the sales to support a drug habit. Rainone?s attorney says it is conceivable that his client didn?t know that the complainant was a drug user and therefore wasn?t aware of the illegal activity.

Internal Affairs says Rainone, who did not speak at Monday?s hearing, was never able to fully explain himself.

Two other officers were suspended for their alleged role in this case. Rainone is the only officer who stands to lose his job. The police commission postponed its decision until the complainant can give a video deposition. The next meeting will be held September 10.

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