BOSTON (CBS) – Three Massachusetts State Police troopers have been arrested and charged with theft of government funds as a part of the Troop E overtime pay scandal.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling detailed the charges during a press conference Wednesday.
Lt. David Wilson, 57, Trooper Paul Cesan, 50, and Trooper Gary Herman, 45, are facing charges related to the investigation into Troop E, which has since been eliminated. Prosecutors said Wilson and Cesan recently retired. Trooper Herman was recently suspended.
Wilson was in charge of overtime shifts. Prosecutors say he did not work some or all of his shifts, but still submitted altered or fake traffic tickets to make it appear he had. Cesan and Herman also allegedly turned in fraudulent traffic tickets.
The troopers allegedly took full pay for shifts in which they left 1-7 hours early. In some cases they did not show up for the shifts at all.
Investigators collected radio data and were able to view whether a cruiser was on or off, then cross-referenced that data.
“It’s not just about the work these troopers didn’t do,” said FBI special agent in charge Harold Shaw. “It’s about the false sense of security the public had.”
Charlie Baker’s office said the governor believes the troopers should be held accountable for their actions.
“The Baker-Polito Administration and Colonel Gilpin are implementing a series of policies to reform the State Police, and Governor Baker believes any member of the department who is found to have stolen public funds must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Baker’s press secretary said in a statement.
Charges Announced Against Massachusetts State Troopers
Wilson earned $230,000 in 2017. He claimed to have worked 170 overtimes shifts, reaching about $68,000 in overtime pay. Prosecutors say about $12,450 of that overtime pay was for work he did not do.
Herman made $227,828 that year, including $63,000 in overtime pay. Prosecutors say $12,468 of Herman’s pay was fraudulently earned.
Cesan earned a salary of $163,500, which included approximately $50,866 in overtime pay. It is alleged that he did not work shifts that made up for $29,000 of that total.
State Police Col. Kerry Gilpin issued a statement about the arrests.
As part of the ongoing implementation of our wide ranging reforms, we continue to audit overtime payments received by department members, and to provide the results of those audits to prosecutors for their review for potential criminality. We fully support and will continue to cooperate with the ongoing investigations being conducted by the US Attorney and the Attorney General.
Lelling said the investigation is ongoing into the actions of Troop E.
“Let me be clear that today’s charges are the beginning, not the end of this federal investigation,” Lelling said.
All three troopers were arraigned Wednesday afternoon and released on bail.