The police chief of Lee, Massachusetts is suspended without pay after being indicted on federal extortion and money laundering charges. The attorney for Joseph Buffis maintains her client is innocent.
In a statement, Lee Town Administrator Bob Nason says Buffis will not receive pay or benefits, at least until the town’s select board holds a hearing later this month. It will determine if the police chief remains suspended while the case against him continues. Lori Levinson is Buffis’ attorney.
“Are we disappointed? Of course we are because we don’t believe that Chief Buffis has done anything wrong,” Levinson said.
Buffis is accused of extorting a $4,000 donation from two people who were facing prostitution-related charges. Federal prosecutors say Buffis used his position to extort a donation last year to a toy fund he controlled. Authorities allege Buffis quickly withdrew almost all the money, putting it in a personal account he controlled with his wife.
Buffis’ arraignment date has not been announced.