Police have charged a University of Pittsburgh professor with more than a dozen felony drug offenses after finding him with a variety of narcotics, according to a criminal complaint.
Billy Day, 52, was arraigned Tuesday on charges he misused or had in his possession drugs including Midazolam and Clonazepam -- both anti-anxiety medicines -- and the narcotic Demerol.
The university is reviewing Day’s employment and salary, said Ken Service, the vice chancellor for communications.
Service said Day, who is a researcher at Pitt’s Biomedical Science Tower 3, had been on leave just before police filed the criminal complaint this week and remains on leave.
"He had actually been on leave at the time the complaint was filed and he continues to be on leave. His status in terms of salary and position are being reviewed," Service said.
Service would not elaborate, citing federal privacy laws.
According to Service, a Pitt worker first alerted police about a month ago to suspicious patterns in Day's drug-purchasing habits at the university. Pitt police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration investigated, Service said.
Service said Day appears to have been acting alone and that no students appear to have been affected.
According to the criminal complaint, Day showed investigators track marks on his arm and admitted that he was injecting himself with painkillers.
“It’s sad. I really didn’t know him real well, but it’s amazing that anybody would do something like that,” Pitt graduate student Cody Hoop said.
It’s alleged that Day used university money and federal grant money to buy the drugs.
“The federal grant money, coupled with any use of the mail clearly puts him in the federal ballpark. It will be up to the U.S. to make that decision,” WPXI legal analyst Phil DiLucente said.
Day was released on $25,000 unsecured bail and awaits an Oct. 2 preliminary hearing in Pittsburgh Municipal Court.
Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.