Fatal Attraction: A Cop Gets Tangled Up With a Pair of Addicts, and Things Turn Violent

Page 5 of 5

Rogers asked the judge to strike the motion. In a surreal scene, she called Anderson, who had made $15,000 representing Iorillo, to testify against his former client. Colbath denied Iorillo the chance to change his plea.

Iorillo, however, did get someone to pay attention. He filed complaints against Raja with the West Palm Beach Police Department and with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office against the first two deputies at Raja's house.

West Palm Internal Affairs Sgt. Michael Deighan listened to the 911 tape and spent weeks talking to witnesses, including Alexandra Pierce, the woman in Iorillo's Cadillac.

He also discovered a video from the holding facility where Iorillo was taken after his arrest by Raja on March 8, 2009. On the tape, Raja tells Iorillo emphatically that he can't use him as an informant because he is on probation. But that video also showed something that caught Deighan's attention enough for him to mention it in his report.

"The video also captured Scott speaking about the suicide of his girlfriend, Christina Passi," wrote Deighan, who declined to comment. "Scott went into detail about how she committed suicide by shooting herself in Scott's home. On video, Officer Raja appeared to be stunned and surprised by the details of her death."

Deighan's report mentions possible bad blood between Raja and Iorillo over Passi. It cites Passi's suicide as the reason it would be impossible to get to the bottom of Raja's relationship with her. Patrolmen usually don't handle confidential informants, and even though Passi had told Iorillo that she worked for Raja, Passi never registered with West Palm Police as an official informant.

What she did for or with Raja, Passi took to the grave.

"There's no way to determine the extent of the relationship or if there even was contact between Sanjay and Ms. Christina," Deighan's report reads. "Ms. Passi committed suicide almost one year and four months prior to Scott's arrest."

What Deighan's report did is shine a light on professional courtesy among law enforcement agents. "Officer Raja was allowed to question and challenge Scott in the back of a patrol car," Deighan wrote. "This was allowed by Deputy McKenna only because Officer Sanjay is a West Palm Beach Police Officer."

At the conclusion of his probe, Deighan determined that Raja violated department policies on the use of force and displayed conduct unbecoming an officer. He was suspended with no pay for three days.

The Sheriff's Office's internal-affairs probe into the response to Raja's house? All deputies were cleared of any wrongdoing.

As for Christina Passi — a woman whose taste in men had included Chris George, who's now facing possible life in prison for allegedly running a chain of pain clinics throughout South Florida with his twin brother, Jeff — Iorillo speculated that she might still be alive today if she'd never met Raja.

"She used to tell me how cops were driving her nuts," he said. "I guess she meant it."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jose Lambiet
Contact: Jose Lambiet