SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP-AP) - A lawyer for a western Massachusetts police chief facing federal extortion and money laundering charges says her client has done nothing wrong.
Lee Chief Joseph 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 the donation in February 2012 to the Edward J. Lalilberte Toy Fund, which he controlled. Authorities allege he quickly withdrew almost all the money, putting it in a personal account he controlled with his wife and using it for personal expenses.
Authorities say Buffis later lied to investigators about use of the funds.
His attorney, Lori Levinson, said Buffis "has done absolutely nothing wrong," and will fight until he has been cleared of all wrongdoing.
Buffis was not arrested.
Meanwhile, Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless told the Berkshire Eagle that he plans to reinstate the charges against the couple that was the victim of the alleged extortion. A criminal complaint had been requested against the two last year, but none was actually filed.
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