Former La Crosse police lieutenant Brian Thomson pleaded guilty yesterday to a felony charge for trying to steal painkillers.
The 44-year-old Thomson reached a plea deal that convicted him of the original charge filed in October by the state Justice Department. The plea bargain would keep him out of prison. Prosecutors say they'll recommend a one-year county jail sentence, and the defense will ask that it be served with electronic monitoring at home. A sentencing date was not immediately set. Thomson can no longer possess a firearm -- which means his days as a police officer are done. He spent 15 years on the La Crosse police force before he resigned following his arrest. Officers got suspicious when Thomson started helping clerks file evidence logs and ask co-workers for pain pills. Officials said Thomson was asked to log evidence of a duffle bag with fake Oxycontin, and the pills were later missing. He also allegedly stole meth-amphetamines seized as evidence. The La Crosse Tribune said a felony drug case against another man was dropped last week because Thomson tampered with the evidence in that case.