WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts State Police announced Thursday additional disciplinary orders for 22 former members of Troop E who faced overtime fraud charges after an audit revealed that the department’s payroll was unproperly documented back in 2018.
Of the 22 members who were found to have played a role in the department’s overtime scandal, one was terminated Monday and five others face termination proceedings, State Police Colonel Christopher Mason said, adding that the remaining 15 troopers will face commensurate punishment and have also agreed to pay restitution.
A majority of them were suspended without pay for various lengths of time ranging from 841 days to 60 days, have lost seniority ranks, and have been removed from being considered for a promotion. The restitution amounts the suspended members agreed to pay range from $15,901.89 to $2,941.32, according to the department.
Twenty-four other members of Troop E who faced charges were either already terminated following criminal convictions or retired while under investigation, something the department says it has no control over.
The payroll discrepancies were uncovered after the internal audit was completed and found that shifts assigned to 46 officers within Troop E were not always worked and that troopers were still paid despite not showing up for their shifts over a three-year period from 2015-2017.
Ten were criminally charged by either the state Attorney General’s Office or the U.S. Attorney’s Office. All 10 were convicted and one is still awaiting sentencing. Their convictions have also been shared with the state retirement board for pension forfeiture consideration.
The scandal led to a series of reforms at the State Police including the installation of locators in cruisers and increased oversight.
According to the state’s website, troopers assigned to Troop E perform public safety functions on the Massachusetts Turnpike roadways and properties. They are headquartered in South Boston. There are also four sub-stations: Weston (E-1), Charlton (E-2), Westfield (E-3), and South Boston (E-4).
You can read 22News’ coverage on the Massachusetts State Police overtime scandal below.