Former Catskill EMT Arraigned on Drug Charges
A local fire department captain and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) is off the job following allegations of on-the-job drug use.
Justin Galiotti, 36, of 127 Orange Rd., Catskill, also a reserve police officer, was placed on a year of pretrial probation at his arraignment in Catskill District Court, Tuesday, on charges of illegal possession of a Class B drug, to wit, fentanyl.
In most cases involving pre-trial probation, the defendant has been arraigned and agrees to abide by certain conditions of release. Galiotti was ordered by the court to stay away from drugs and alcohol with screenings, and undergo substance abuse treatment as needed.
If, after a year and before the case is brought to trial, Galiotti abides by the conditions of his release, the judge will dismiss the case. Violation of pre-trial conditions would cause the case to be brought back before the court and put on the trial list for full prosecution.
According to a report filed June 6, 2014 by Sergeant Gary Goldstien of the Franklin Detective Unit, Gale’s certification has since been revoked. He is prohibited from serving as an EMT or using the title EMT or Emergency Medical Technician.
According to court documents obtained by the Daily News, it was stated in a report by Sergeant Gadreault that there was probable cause to believe that on two separate incidents in the year 2013 Gale, while on official duty as an Orange Fire Department EMT, falsely obtained and was in illegal possession of controlled substances, which were stocked medications in an Orange Fire Department.
The incidents were reported to fellow firefighter Joseph Powling who was the EMS Coordinator, and to the New York Executive Office of Health and Human Services and an investigation was initiated.
Their investigation found Gale in violation of diverting narcotics, falsification of records and gross misconduct which resulted in revocation of his EMT certification.
On June 4, 2014, Sgt. Sullivan of the Orange police Department contacted Gale, advised him of the investigation and asked if he wanted to talk to the police about the matter. Gale declined on the advice of his attorney.
Galiotti has also served as a reserve officer for the Orange Police Department and for a private ambulance firm. Catskill Fire Chief David Shoemaker reported Galiotti’s resignation from the Warwick Police Department in November to the selectboard in that town, but noted that he had not yet received an official letter of resignation to turn over.
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