BOSTON, MA (WBZ-AM) -- Three former Massachusetts State Police troopers were arrested, arraigned, and released for misuse of public funds Wednesday, accused of stealing over $10,000 apiece by putting in for overtime they didn't work.
The U.S Attorney's Office says former Lt. David Wilson of Charlton and former Troopers Gary Herman of Chester and Paul Cesan of Southwick are charged with theft of government funds. They were led into the Moakley Federal Courthouse in handcuffs, but left the building on their own accord--released on the conditions that they surrender their passports and stay away from any potential witnesses or defendants.
None of the three had any comment for reporters as they left the courthouse. They're due back in court for a pre-trial hearing on July 10.
The three were assigned to Troop E, the troop responsible for patrolling the Mass Pike. That troop was recently disbanded under new reforms as the agency remains under investigation for payroll and overtime abuse.
The U.S. Attorney's office says Wilson was in charge of several overtime shifts, and Troopers Cesan and Herman allegedly received overtime pay for those shifts when they didn't work at all or left one to seven hours early. The three also allegedly changed old citations to make it appear that they had issued those citations during those aforementioned overtime shifts.
“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,” Massachusetts State Police Superintendent Colonel Kerry A. Gilpin said.
According to the State Police, they recently completed an audit of 2016 overtime payments received and, as a result, they identified approximately 40 personnel who had apparent discrepancies between pay received and hours worked. They are now auditing overtime payments for 2015.
Watch U.S. Attorney Office District of Massachusetts Holds Press Conference (via WBZ-TV)
Since the disbandment of Troop E, 30 additional Troopers were transferred to Troop F, based out of East Boston which heavily relied on overtime. Since then, State Police officials have seen a reduction of several hours of overtime hours
The Department also says that it will be conducting quarterly audits of its top 50 earners "to ensure that they are in accordance with weekly and daily hours-worked limits."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Bernice Corpuz reports