Head of Massachusetts Environmental Police fired after investigation

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BOSTON (WWLP) – The head of Massachusetts Environmental Police has been fired following an investigation into misconduct.

Colonel James McGinn’s termination is effective Friday. He has been suspended without pay since early October.

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs spokesman Peter Lorenz told 22News the investigation determined that McGinn and retired Major William Bilotta exercised poor judgment and violated public trust.

The investigation report states that McGinn installed surveillance cameras in an office at one of the environmental police’s Office of Law Enforcement in Westborough without going through the proper channels.

The cameras were allegedly installed in order to conduct surveillance of the officers who reported to that location to see if they were actually working the hours they recorded.

“The Colonel took this action outside established EEA procedures for handling operational and HR matters, which would have required notice to EEA leadership, including the EEA General Counsel, Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer, and the HR and Labor Relations Directors, and, if warranted, could require a formal investigation,” the report stated.

The cameras have since been removed, and the footage recorded is in the custody of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Lorenz said another part of the investigation found that retired Major Bilotta instructed an officer to void a citation that was being issued to parents of children who were found to be unlawfully operating unregistered off-highway vehicles back in August 2015. It was later determined that one of the parents was a friend and former neighbor of McGinn.

“Both officers also recalled participating in a chase of two other OHV riders about a day to 1 week prior to the incident in question, and learned in the course of issuing the citations that those juveniles were Colonel McGinn’s children and lived in the vicinity,” the report says.

Bilotta, according to the report, denied any knowledge of a connection between the incident and McGinn’s children or former neighbor.

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