Sixth Massachusetts State Police trooper charged in connection with overtime pay scandal

Crime
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BOSTON (WWLP) – A suspended Massachusetts State Police Trooper agreed to plead guilty Friday in connection with the ongoing overtime pay scandal.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 40-year-old Kevin Sweeney, of Braintree, was paid more than $11,000 for overtime hours he did not work while assigned to the now-dismantled Troop E. 

Troop E was responsible for enforcing criminal and traffic regulations along the Massachusetts Turnpike.

Sweeney allegedly concealed his fraud by submitting phony citations designed to make it look like he worked overtime hours.

“For example, on Dec. 14, 2016, Sweeney claimed in MSP payroll submissions and other paperwork to have worked a “D AIRE” overtime shift from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sweeney allegedly wrote eight motor vehicle citations during the shift and submitted copies of those citations to MSP as evidence that he had worked. Yet, Sweeney’s cruiser radio was not turned on during the overtime shift, he did not run any driver histories during the shift, and Registry of Motor Vehicle records reflect that none of the motorists that Sweeney claims to have cited actually received a citation that day,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office reports.

Sweeney is the sixth trooper charged as a result of the ongoing investigation into pay discrepancies. In total, more than 45 troopers have been referred to the United States attorney and state attorney general for criminal investigation in connection with the overtime pay scandal.

Massachusetts State Police released the following statement in regard to Sweeney’s plea agreement:

“The Massachusetts State Police started an investigation into potential overtime abuse in 2016, resulting in 46 members to date being referred to the state Attorney General’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office, and today’s announced plea agreement is a direct result of the department’s work to restore transparency and ensure accountability.  Under the leadership of Colonel Gilpin, the State Police will continue to audit earnings from discretionary overtime and, as we did in the case resolved today, provide results to federal and state prosecutors. Any felony conviction of a department member disqualifies them from service as a state trooper. The department will continue implementing multiple comprehensive reforms, including expanding GPS installation into more cruisers, preparing a camera pilot program, and conducting quarterly reviews of top earners.”

A court date for Sweeney has not been set yet.

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