WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A former West Springfield Police captain was found guilty of taking more than $17,000 from the evidence room at the city’s police department.
According to a news release from the Attorney General’s Office, 54-year-old Daniel Spaulding of West Springfield was found guilty of Official Position to Obtain an Unwarranted Privilege. A five-day trial in Hampden Superior Court ended on Monday after an investigation by State Police assigned to the AG’s Office in May 2017.
The West Springfield Police Department and the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office referred to the Attorney General’s Office after the West Springfield Police Department conducted an inventory of cash in their evidence room that had been forfeited by the court. It was discovered that there were three missing evidence bags of money totaling $17,611 in March 2017.
Spaulding supervised the department’s detective bureau and the evidence room between 2011 to 2016. He was transferred to Administrative Captain in October 2016 however, retained access to the evidence room.
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Spaulding was interviewed in May 2017 by the AG’s Office and did not disclose any details of the missing evidence bags. The missing evidence bags were later turned in by Spaulding to the West Springfield Police Department. He said he believed they had been tampered with and took the money to his office for safekeeping to give to the auditors.
The money was examined by investigators that determined the money from the evidence bags had been replaced because some of the bills were paid out by the Federal Reserve after the date the money had been originally seized.
Attorney General Maura Healey says Spaulding used the cash for personal purposes, including to pay his mortgage. Spaulding is scheduled to be sentenced on September 21.
This case was prosecuted by Chief Trial Counsel Jim O’Brien and Special Assistant Attorney General Jane Tomic, both of AG Healey’s Criminal Bureau, with assistance from Financial Investigator Jill Petruzziello, Senior Victim Witness Advocate Megan Murphy, and Senior Digital Evidence Analyst James McCoy of the AG’s Digital Evidence Lab. The investigation was handled by State Police assigned to the AG’s Office with assistance and full cooperation from the West Springfield Police Department and the City of West Springfield.